BUENOS AIRES – The top executives of Buenos Aires clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate on Friday urged fans to enjoy the arch-rivals’ historic, first-ever match-up in a Copa Libertadores final in a calm manner and maintain a proper perspective on the contest.
In a joint press conference prior to Saturday night’s first leg at Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera stadium, a game to be played without River’s fans in attendance, Boca’s chairman, Daniel Angelici, called on the teams’ supporters to “enjoy it peacefully and with family.”
River’s president, Rodolfo D’Onofrio, echoed those sentiments and said the game should not be over-magnified.
“When I hear that it’s life or death, all this nonsense ... Whoever wins will celebrate and whoever loses will suffer, but our lives won’t change,” he added.
D’Onofrio also had a special message for the clubs’ “more radicalized” elements, calling on them to “contain themselves.”
Boca’s chairman encouraged fans to enjoy the match and experience all the intensity of this latest, and particularly noteworthy, edition of Argentina’s Superclasico.
“When the match kicks off tomorrow, it’ll be the players, the coaching staffs and, as always (at La Bombonera) we’ll have the slight edge of an extra player – all the Boca fans, who really spur us on,” Angelici said.
D’Onofrio expressed support for the decision to not allow opposing fans for either leg of the final of South America’s premier club soccer tournament, adding that it was necessary for additional security.
“We won’t have that other player” on Saturday night, but “we’ll have more than one (extra) player” at El Monumental stadium for the Nov. 24 second leg, he said. “I can assure you of that.”