What is seven years in football? That time has passed since the third conquest of America by River and its protagonists went on with their lives. Several left for Europe, many others said stop to the round and there remains only one survivor. Find out with Olé what happened to the 2015 Copa Libertadores champions..
1-Marcelo Barovero: Figure in decisive matches, especially in the first leg against Tigres. Left River in 2016. He moved to Necaxa on a free transfer, then was signed by Monterrey, where he won three titles. In 2020, he was signed by Spanish Segunda B club Burgos. After a short period of 25 games, enough to earn promotion, the goalkeeper returned to Mexico to play for Atlético San Luis.
18-Camilo Mayada: A firefighter in the Gallardo cycle. In the final rematch against Tigres, he replaced the suspended Mercado and also had a key entry at the Bernabeu against Boca in 2018. The two-time America champion charrúa moved to San Luis in Mexico in 2019, where he played for two years. Since 2021, the Uruguayan has been playing for Libertad in Paraguay and was once a local champion.
2- Jonatan Maidana: The only survivor of the 2015 champion team. Eternal samurai of defense, very important in the final series against the Tigers, canceling the Frenchman Gignac, whom he punished by marking the territory. After winning in Madrid against Boca, he was allowed to leave for Toluca as a free agent in recognition of his career. Two years after leaving, Maidana returned to Millonario. “When I left I knew it would be very difficult to come back, but football has these twists and turns,” he said.
Jonatan Maidana is the only 2015 champion still at River (EFE).
6- Ramiro Funes Mori: Fixed as Maidana’s winger. A beast in the back. He scored a goal in the second leg of the final at the Monumental, the 3-0 victory. He was then sold to the English of Everton and found himself with the desire to play the Club World Cup. He passed through Villarreal, where he stayed for three seasons and where he won the Europa League, and through Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. He recently sealed his arrival at Cruz Azul.
21- Leonel Vangioni: A tireless strong leg throughout the Copa and an assist for Alario in the 1-0 victory against the Tigres. A year later, he will go to Milan on a free transfer, but was never considered. After three years in Monterrey, he was released, taken on by Libertad of Paraguay and continued his career at Newell’s, the club that trained him.
5- Matías Kranevitter: The five who best represented Gallardo’s river style. He formed a fundamental partnership with Ponzio in the Libertadores. After being champion of America and taking part in the Club World Cup, he emigrated to Atlético de Madrid. He was then signed by Sevilla and Zenit. In 2020 he moved to Monterrey, where he still plays. He was never the Colo de River again.
23-Leonardo Ponzio: The maximum symbol of the cycle Gallardo became the leader of River with this title. His entry into the starting lineup in place of Pisculichi, from the round of 16 against Boca, was decisive for the spirit and the structural solidity of the champion by the tandem he formed with Kranevitter. He retired after winning the elusive Gallardo Cycle and Champions Trophy championship. However, he continues to play at Williams Kemmis in the Cañadense League.
Ponzio retired from professional activity, but continued to play in a regional league.
8- Carlos Sanchez: The driving force behind American champions, from penalty area to penalty area. Decisive also for his goals from the penalty spot in the round of 16 first leg against Boca and in the final against Tigres, and for the goal that opened the historic victory against Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte. After the Club World Cup, he moved to Monterrey in Mexico and has been at Santos in Brazil since 2018.
16-Nicolás Bertolo: Arrived as a reinforcement before the semi-final against Guaraní and holder in the final against Tigres, with a weak performance. He never lived up to Gallardo’s expectations of him and returned to Banfield a year later. Seventeen games at Platense separated him from Taladro, where he returned this year.
9- Fernando Cavenaghi: Holder in the final due to Mora’s injury in the first leg. His photo, kneeling and celebrating, is an icon of this feat. He raised the Libertadores alongside Barovero and announced that same evening that he was leaving River. In 2016, he quit football.
Fernando Cavenaghi was delighted to win the cup a year before his retirement.
13- Lucas Alario: Joined as a reinforcement during the winter break and replaces none other than Teo Gutiérrez. He scored the decisive goals in the semi-final against Guaraní in Asunción and in the final against Tigres at the Monumental. He left in 2017 for Bayer Leverkusen, who paid his clause, where he spent five seasons. Although there has been speculation over a possible return to Millonario, he will continue his career at Eintracht Frankfurt.
15- Leonardo Pisculichi: star of the Sudamericana 2014, he was replaced by Ponzio during the final phase of the Libertadores. In the final, he entered the game in place of Cavenaghi. From River he switched to Brazilian football to play for Vitoria, returned to Argentinos Juniors and retired to Spanish club Burgos in 2021.
22- Sebastian Driussi: He played in the round of 16 against Boca and also had the luxury of playing in the final against Tigres at the age of 19. “In June I’ll be back,” he said in mid-2021, getting River fans excited. In the end, this return did not take place. After five seasons with Russian club Zenit, where he was a multiple champion, he joined Austin FC in MLS. He was chosen for the All Star, the prestigious event of the American league.
Driussi is tearing everything up in the United States.
27- Lucho González: He was another reinforcement in the break and came on for Kranevitter in the final. He left River in 2016 and until his retirement in 2021 he played for Athletico Paranense. He admitted that he would like to be a DT.
TD: Marcelo Gallardo. He had already shown his coaching qualities on the bench at River, but during the Libertadores 2015 he climbed to the podium of the best players in the house. The legend was just beginning.