They are not the Beatles. Not the stones. No Soda Stereo or The Rounds. It's the band of Doll, which conquered America and generated madness in millionaire fans. And now, after a short break, you'll try to keep playing the best chords for the best shows. After a hectic and happy 2018, the 2019 tour begins. The first stop is in Punta del Este, to make the preseason and recharge the energy before the advent of a very busy semester, with a very tight schedule. Can Rio continue to be adjusted?
After the passage of Baltasar, Melchor and Gaspar, to Punta del Este, the kings of America arrived. With some difficulties over time. It is that Rodrigo Mora was not included in the list because he suffered again from hip pain in the area where he underwent surgery for just over a year and a half. Later, the Uruguayan communicated a sad decision: his retirement from the active practice of football. News that will undoubtedly affect the mood of the campus.
Neither the young Cristian Ferreira and Lucas Beltrán, who were trapped by the storm in Cordoba and will fly to Punta del Este on Monday. Meanwhile, Luciano Lollo, who seemed to be more out than inside River, got on the plane and will make the preseason next to the team.
The big challenge is not relaxing. And keep fighting titles. The local tournament – an account pending in the Gallardo era – and the South American Recopa (against Atletico Paranaense) will be the first goals. And then start defending the title in the Copa Libertadores. And although the scenarios may seem unfavorable, as he will play 20 games in just over 100 days (the top four will be in this month) and still does not know if he can set Recopa in his stadium, this team knows what it is to overcome situations and contexts. It has a lot of personality.
It will also be necessary to see how the biggest players (Leonardo Ponzio, Javier Pinola, Jonatan Maidana, Ignacio Scocco, Enzo Pérez and Lucas Pratto) respond to the sequence of matches. Although the desire and fervor they demonstrate to stay on top can revitalize them. It happens with them as to the consecrated musicians, who the passage of time seems to improve them.
In any case, the young people seem to retreat from behind. Lucas Martinez Fourth in the defense, Bruno Zuculini in the midfield and Julián Alvarez in the attack can be interesting alternatives to take leadership roles at any time. And of course, there are Colombians Juan Fernando Quintero and Rafael Borré, who are already realities.
Gallardo is another great soccer challenge. Gonzalo Martinez is no longer there, who will play for Atlanta in the United States. They are looking for a replacement. One possibility is the Colombian Luis Fernando Diaz, from Junior Barranquilla. But whoever arrives may have a process of logical adaptation. And in the meantime? If no one else leaves, there will not be many new faces.
Quintero already said he stays. You will give the Doll the tenth to Juanfer and the responsibility to lead? The Colombian offers characteristics different from those of Feather. He does not have the blast and the imbalance in against one of the Mendoza, although he has the characteristics to be a natural driver. To get the ball to the foot, give the correct pass and filter and build the game to play with purity and build walls with your teammates. His goal against Boca in the Copa Libertadores final is an example of that.
The other challenge is to regain defensive solidity. While the defense comes from memory (with Montiel, Maidana, Pinola and Casco) and had good level in many games, in recent months suffered more than the account. Especially with the balls standing still, a matter to review.
In short, River goes for more. This is the guiding phrase with which he fired in 2018 after the festivities at Monumental on December 23, after crowning an unforgettable year in which he won two finals for his eternal rival. The Supercopa Argentina in Mendoza. And the most important, the Copa Libertadores, which was already in eternity. The celebrations are over and there is no time to relax. The word "relaxation" is not in Gallardo's dictionary. So in early 2019, with many commitments, the motto is the same: do not settle down and let the music sound as usual. The best.