River Plate goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero was thrilled to see the club defy the doubters once more by claiming Copa Libertadores glory on Wednesday.
River earned their first Libertadores title in 19 years with a 3-0 second-leg victory over Tigres UANL on home soil at El Monumental, which secured an aggregate victory by the same margin.
In the process, Barovero became the first keeper to keep a clean sheet throughout the Libertadores final since Boca Juniors’ Mauricio Caranta did so in the 2007 decider against Gremio.
Barovero, 31, said he was pleased to help contribute to the history of River, a club he joined from Velez Sarsfield in 2012.
“[The win] is what all dreamed and wished for,” Barovero said after helping secure River’s third Libertadores crown.
“We’ve been through a crazy path. Nobody believed in us but now we are growing together, giving River another star. That’s the most important thing, to keep on magnifying the history of this club.
“We were lucky and were able to open the game with a great goal [from Lucas Alario], so during the second half we calmed down.
“That’s logical for the team who scores first. Later on we tried to close the game, and did so.”
Midfielder Camilo Mayada, who only joined River in January, said coach Marcelo Gallardo implored his charges to cut through Tigres with more passes.
“We talked during the half-time [interval]. We had to be more precise and execute more kicks before reaching the rival’s goal,” Mayada said.
“They [Tigres] had a couple of chances but failed, so in the last minute of the first half we found the goal, that gave us some peace, so it was great to start the second half and finish it.”
Teenager Sebastian Driussi, a second-half substitute for goal-scoring hero Alario, already had eyes on the Suruga Bank Championship on Tuesday.
River, as Copa Sudamericana champions, take on J. League Cup winners Gamba Osaka in Japan – the eighth edition of the initiative.
“The will to win is always there. We have to play against a Japanese team, it will be hard,” Driussi said.
The Sudamericana champions have not won the one-off fixture since 2009.
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