One of the foundations of River’s greatness has always been the fact of being the birthplace of football players who have not only made history wearing the red sash jersey but also left their mark on world football. This long-standing tradition of River’s youth academy, which started in Europe with legends such as Alfredo Di Stéfano and Enrique Omar Sívori, and stayed strong decade after decade, was put in the spotlight once again because six players trained at River’s youth academy would play the finals of the three major UEFA competitions in 2023.
The first one was Julián Álvarez, who shook Real Madrid up on Wednesday, managing to qualify for the Champions League final with his Manchester City teammates. On June 10th, against Inter, in Istanbul, Julián Álvarez will have the chance to become the first Argentine player to win the World Cup, the CONMEBOL Libertadores and the Champions League.
Then came the Europa League semifinals, which saw three other players from River’s youth academy: Gonzalo Montiel (on the day where it was five months since his penalty against France, which made him go down in history), Lucas Ocampos and Erik Lamela (who scored a key goal in the semifinal against Juventus) have led Sevilla to the final on May 31st, against Roma, in Budapest.
Finally, Lucas Martínez Quarta, currently playing for Fiorentina, and Manuel Lanzini, playing for West Ham, qualified for the Conference League final and will face each other on June 7th, in Prague.
Therefore, this year's UEFA competitions finals will surely see players from one of the largest youth academies in the world: River Plate’s.