El Burrito sidelined

Everyone’s patience has a breaking point. It seems that finally, that of River Plate’s board has reached the same point that Diego Simeone’s got to a few months ago, because it was announced on Saturday that Ariel Ortega, the playmaker who had a vital role in River’s first championship in four years during the Torneo Clausura, won’t play for the side again. The announcement comes just days after club president José María Aguilar rubbished rumours of Ortega moving to the United Arab Emirates.

Ortega seems to have accepted that he won’t be playing for River again. The club’s directors have demanded that he get professional treatment for his long-running alcoholism, after he failed to show up for training on Friday following a pre-season match for River. On Saturday he met with club directors Mario Israel, Domingo Díaz and Julio Macchi to request that the club accept the recent bid for him from Al Mir Sports of the United Arab Emirates. The directors in question suggested instead that Ortega seek professional help for his addiction, presumably at River’s expense.

According to Díaz, talking to Radio Latina, ‘Ortega is dragging down the image of the entire team.’ That’s hardly a ringing endorsement, and considering that just a few weeks ago the directors went over manager Diego Simeone’s head in allowing Ortega to stay as a member of the first team squad for another season, it can only be hoped that they feel rather embarassed about the whole thing now. ‘[The directors of the club] have allowed Ortega to take licence that not every player would have got away with… unfortunately, due to his addiction, he’s not done responded in the best manner.’

Whether Ortega goes to the UAE or remains in Argentina to seek help, it seems highly unlikely he’ll have a part to play in River’s Apertura campaign. Having played an important role in winning back the league title for them, he may be forced to watch from the sidelines in the new season. Either way, though, it’s clear he need some prompting to seek proper help for his problem.

Bookmark and Share

5 thoughts on “El Burrito sidelined

  1. I think Ortega has so many problems to focus on football. It’s a pity, because he’s one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen, but with such a disorganized personal life he can’t be a hundred percent on the pitch.

    I wish he gets back to his best shape, so all af we can enjoy his great technique. Sadly, I think his best days are gone and now it’s time to concentrate on a problem that can be really harmfull for him and his family.

    Best wishes for Ortega.

    By the way, this site is great. I didn’t know there was an english blog about Argentine football. I’m from Argentina but I like to share our football with people from around the world and know their points of view.

  2. I agree, it is sad. In the last month of the season he showed he can still contribute on the pitch. But it’s more important he get himself sorted for his life after football, because those days are coming soon.

  3. I’m wondering if the rumors of a few weeks back that had FC Dallas here in the US interested in Ortega might get revived. I’ve heard that Ortega wants to talk to his family before deciding one way or another about the UAE offer. America might be a nice second option, although they can’t offer him as much money as the Arabs are offering.

    Dallas has Pablo Richetti and Dario Sala on the books (although they just sold Juan Toja, a former River player, to somewhere in Eastern Europe).

  4. Toja went to former European Cup champions Steaua Bucharest.

    I’d love to see Burrito end up here in MLS, but I really can’t see him handling the coast-to-coast, 4 time zones travel that is required.

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: