River Plate Fall to the Nacional B After Worst Possible Season

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst IMarch 25, 2017

Not just a footballing team, but a religion for many, River Plate has fallen after 110 years to the second division, and has left fans furious and in total disbelief.

The last time the club played in the second tier of Argentine football known as the Nacional B was in 1908. Since then they have been key members of the Premier division, and since winning their first title in 1932 they have become amongst the most successful league club in the world with 33* (National) League titles.

Fans have gone on a rampage as they look toward violence since the club was relegated, with many starting fires and others clashing with police during mass rioting in the city.

Onlookers relate certain parts of the city to that of a "war-zone" with smoke and fires raging, shop windows smashed and police forcing angry hooligans away.

According to some reports, the stadium was too full with almost 20,000 more fans than the prescribed amount, an investigation is underway in these allegations, as many fans were injured during the in-stadium protests.

River needed to overcome a first leg 2-0 deficit, but finishing 1-1 in the second leg of the relegation playoffs meant the former Argentinian champions had to bow down to Premier division football.

Looking at the past, the successes of the club, it very tough to understand how they found themselves in a relegation battle in the first place.

River Plate has a long list of well-known players not just in Argentina but across the globe.

A few notable players:

Gabriel Batistuta
Ariel Ortega
Hernan Crespo
Roberto Ayala
Pablo Aimar
Esteban Cambiasso
Martin Demichelis
Javier Mascherano
Gonzalo Higuain
Alexis Sanchez  (amongst the most highly-rated teenagers currently in world football)

One of the most notable of player was former European Player of the Year Alfredo Di Stefano, who played and managed the club.

River Plate is already in financial difficulty and the results of a poor league season will only worsen the financial wounds. 

However they will have to accept their fate and look to rebuild the squad, and attempt a quick recovery and return to the Primeira Division.

*River Plate did win the 1920 title, but it was still during the Amateur Era