Almost a season after Carlos Tevez returned to his beloved Boca Juniors, the other half of Buenos Aires rejoiced as River Plate hero Andres D’Alessandro followed suit and re-joined his former side.
It’s been eight years since the playmaker left his boyhood club to embark on a European adventure – when Wolfsburg paid €9 million for his services – and now returns on loan to wear the famous red stripe ahead of the new Argentine league season.
Arriving from Internacional where he captained the club to numerous titles, D’Alessandro leaves as the most successful Argentine player in Brazilian football history – garnering the 2010 Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sul-Americana , Recopa Sul-Americana , Copa Suruga Bank  and six Campeonato Gaúchos [2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015].
In Brazil, the diminutive No10 was also voted as South America’s Player of the Year for 2010 – something of an achievement considering his mixed fortunes whilst playing in Germany, England (Portsmouth) and Spain (Real Zaragoza).
“I’m leaving because that’s what I wanted,” the outgoing D’Alessandro told press after making 340 appearances for Internacional, scoring 76 goals.
It’s not easy for me. I’m very grateful to this club, they gave me everything.
However now aged 34, the left-footed playmaker is overjoyed by the opportunity of returning to River, stating:
I am very pleased and happy. It’s a time of excitement. I come to add to a winning team that’s won it all, and I’m proud to be part of this River.
Marcelo [Gallardo] was very honest with me and generated big expectations. River is a different club, always challenges for titles and championships. I want to make a new story, I want to be part of a winning team.
D’Alessandro originally made his River debut in 2000 aged 19 and left in 2003, having made 98 appearances with 23 goals scored whilst inspiring the side to three Clausura titles.
Now, el Cabezón is following in the footsteps of previous River playmaking idols Enzo Francescoli, Ariel Ortega and even current coach Marcelo Gallardo, who were all lured back to the club of their hearts.
There never was a concrete chance to come back [previously]. [But] I was never angry with the club. It is big a challenge to be back at [aged] 34, I went left aged 22. Now I want to prove I’m still a force.