River Plate to play in Libertadores with injured outfield player as goalkeeper


After the massive Covid outbreak in the squad last Saturday, and the elimination from the Copa de la Liga at the hands of Boca on Sunday, River will today face Independiente de Santa Fe in the Copa Libertadores. With 20 positive cases of Covid in total (5 confirmed yesterday) and two players injured, River’s coach, Marcelo Gallardo, will hardly reach to line up 11 players.

Experienced midfielder Enzo Pérez, who is injured, will play goalkeeper, as the four goalkeepers in the Libertadores’ list are all with Coronavirus.

River’s positive Covid cases during the last 4 days:

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Germán Lux, Enrique Bologna, and Franco Petroli.

Defenders: Paulo Díaz, Robert Rojas, Gonzalo Montiel, and Alex Vigo.

Midfielders: Leonardo Ponzio, Bruno Zuculini, Tomás Castro Ponce, Santiago Simón, Nicolás de la Cruz, and Agustín Palavecino.

Forwards: Rafael Santos Borré, Matías Suárez, Federico Girotti, Benjamín Rollheiser, Lucas Beltrán, and Fabian Londoño Bedoya.

In addition, Javier Pinola and Enzo Pérez are both injured. Nonetheless, both told Marcelo Gallardo that they want to be part of the team in today’s game.

Even though the situation is unique, River had the chance, before the Copa Libertadores started, to have 50 players included in the Copa’s list. CONMEBOL gave this possibility to all the clubs playing international competitions due to the current pandemic situation. At that moment, Marcelo Gallardo stated that he “wouldn’t like to make youths play under so much pressure, in strange conditions,” and decided to include just 32 players in the list.

In line with how unique the game will be, another extraordinary thing that happens just as often when playing amateur football with friends: The are no rules that say the goalkeeper cannot be changed with outfield players during the match. This means that we may see more than one outfield player playing as goalkeeper, constantly rotating.


  1. Everyone in the news articles is mentioning the goalkeeper situation but lets not forget we had two youngsters from the reserve on their debut and no bench whatsoever. If there was an injury it was bye bye. I am grateful that we managed to field 11 as well

    • I hope too… But if not selected I hope he will go Olympics.
      Palacious will be fit for Olympics
      Over age player for Olympics should be
      Juan musso. Dybala and icardi

  2. Damn River is a pack of warriors seriously, I mean they had no business winning this game or taking Boca all the way and then some…..yet they did! Oh and that J.Alvarez goal was C.L.A.S.S!! If the olympics do happen I’d like to see him and Almada, who also kicked ass very recently, leading the team.

    • Good wishes for J. Alvarez for his career hope he will care his fitness and believe on himself that what will he do.
      another one Angileri, how many times i see him i just keep pray for him. if he hold his running form consistantly he will be a big asset for NT. when i see him to play it look like a shadow of gabrial heinz for me.

  3. Somehow, despite everything, we won. THANK YOU every player that played today and fought for the shirt (maybe not Carrascal) but seriously THANK YOU. And enzo, what an idol of River. To think I was thinking we may fight for Sudamericana qualification. Now we are first in our group. God helped us today and every player on the pitch. Thank you everyone for fighting like this. We had no goalkeeper or substitute but held on. Football is truly beautiful. Cox, do you think we will have the same team next week or will more players be available?

    • Awesome win. To play without a proper GK & substitute s & still win is like getting into a boxing match with one hand tied. It will go down in history as a tight slap to a foolish & partial football association. Alvarez goal was wonderful & he needs to be in europe in next season. But big question can river get players back before 26th may match vs fluminese. If we lose that game & atletico junior win against santa fe convincingly, we will still get knocked out on goal difference. A proper GK & atleast 4-5 good substitutes are needed as a minimum to compete.

      • Fluminense will be a harder and crucial game. I am hoping we get even just 2-3 players back. Anything would help. Even fourth choice goalkeeper will help obviously.

  4. Leandro paredes played last night as a right side midfielder, not a Holding Midfielder. Has Pachettino’s faith risen from him as Defensive midfielder??
    Personally I didn’t Trust him as a Holding mifielder. Its Too much tension…super skillfull lazy kid.

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