César Luis Menotti (Rosario, Argentina, 1938) at the age of 80 still remembers most of the games he played or trained. The coach who gave Argentina his first World Cup in 1978, has trained both Boca Juniors and River Plate. Always critical of those who send in the world of football, Menotti has grown as one of the most critical voices against the end of the Libertadores in Madrid.
How was a man playing his mouth and training the river when he saw the end of the Libertadores in the Santiago Bernabéu?
The fact that he is in Madrid does not matter to me. What matters to me is to watch this game outside of Argentina. Once they take him out, in Miami, in Qatar … he does so much. Almost better in Madrid, where many Argentinians live. But the fact of seeing how the most beautiful game turned into a product sold like that, for four rals … It was an opportunity to do it well and it became a cause for shame for the Argentineans.
After the away game without serious incidents, the return could not be played in the River Plate field for incidents outside the field. What would you have done?
Play at the River Plate Stadium. The trip to La Bombonera and the return to the Monumental, to close the history of the clubs. I would have played the same day I had to play, because the responsibility of River Plate was the safety inside the stadium. Security outside the stadium was something of the politicians, the police … and they were the ones who did it badly, passing Boca's bus through an area full of river fans. See that Boca travels this road every year, and the year when it gets worse is exactly the day of the most important game. A disaster But River fans who were on the field are not to blame. Or the directive. He had to play in the River Plate field.
He says he would have played the same day. But the bus with the Boca players had been stoned and the police gas hit some players …
They stoned me so many times, in a bus … It's not fair, we have to fight against the violent, but, unfortunately, these things happen. It had happened to me when I came to Espanyol when I was at Barça. You have arrived and pan, come rocks and broken glass. In the Champions League he went to the city in Liverpool. And he played. In Greece this week saw Molotovs in a stadium … and he kept playing. The problem is not just from Argentina, eh? What happens is that when you punish four criminals you punish 60,000 people. We must act against the violent without breaking the dream of those who go to a stadium without causing disturbances.
Therefore, it does not attach importance to the fact that Boca players have had problems due to the gas …
Yes, I do not say it was a lie. I say that those people who had taken the planes, who came from many places in Argentina, were not respected to see a game that was not played. If a doctor determines that day that the players are affected, since the game is played on December 9th in the river, with well-organized security. Sending the game is a way to admit that we do not know how to organize it. The image of the offer is pathetic.
The problem of violence is global, we are on agreement. But Argentine football is not bored.
The worst possible picture. First of all, everything badly organized. And then, look how it is not only Argentine football, but all the South American, with the leaders of Conmebol (the South American Confederation of football) to sell the party to pay. I hope Madrid can enjoy a party, for the Argentines it will not be. The companies maintain everything. Money has always been sent, but I did not think it would come to this end. The sport of people is moving away, we can only say that they have obtained great economic benefits. It would have been nice to see both clubs, great rivals, united, refuse to play in Madrid.