Juan Fernando Quintero came to River less than a year ago and has already become part of the club’s great history. In Madrid, the talented midfielder was key to turning the match against Boca Juniors around and lead el Millionario to the fourth Copa Libertadores, the most important one.
The Colombian substituted Leonardo Ponzio, watched the spectacular 1-1 play up close and, in the second half of extra time, when River was far superior but couldn’t reflect it on the score, he gave a left-footed kick that will be forever engraved in the fans’ memory: crossbar and goal, Quintero’s goal forever. In the last part, he took the ball after Boca’s corner kick, played a long pass to Pity Martínez, who ran across the field knowing that the story would end with a goal by him scored against their greatest rival and the greatest lap of honour in history.
Another important Colombian in making River the champion was Rafael Borré, who was in the starting 11 in the final’s first leg and missed the second one for reaching the yellow card limit. The forward scored three goals in the Cup, all in decisive stages: against Racing (round of 16), against Independiente (quarter-finals) and against Gremio, in Brasil, for the semi-final.