2015 is becoming quite the year for highly-anticipated returns to Argentine footballer for former legends and while Carlos Tevez will inevitably hog the limelight, River Plate are quietly going about their business and bringing back a few big names of their own. Pablo Aimar was the first back through the door, last week Javier Saviola followed and yesterday Marcelo Gallardo announced that Lucho González would be pulling on the famous shirt for the first time since 2005.
The deal should be finalised today with the 34-year-old undergoing a medical before signing a two-year deal with River, ten years after leaving the club for Porto. González played with current manager Marcelo Gallardo for River between 2003 and 2005 and won two Clausuras before moving to Portugal.
The classy midfielder went on to enjoy enormous success with Porto and Marseille, winning ten titles in Portugal and six in France, over a ten year period. In 2014, Lucho moved to Qatari side, Al-Rayyan and after a year in the Arab country, González now looks to end his career back with River.
Lucho told reporters: “It is a personal motivation to try and win an international title.” This is something that despite his wealth of honours he has failed to achieve at any of his previous clubs and with River to resume their Copa Libertadores campaign at the semi final stage in a couple of weeks, there is a good chance that this goal can be achieved.
However, it is also clear that former teammate Marcelo Gallardo would have played a huge role in this move after González had previously been heavily linked with a switch to Racing. Speaking about his conversation with Gallardo, Lucho added: “Iknowhim,we spoke,wemet, and it was clearandwe both havethesamegoals.There isagoodteam,there isa goodgroup in general, and thatis the importantthing”.
Even at 34, González should bring a great deal to the River midfield besides his experience and it is an exciting time ahead of a Copa Libertadores semi final to have Lucho, Aimar and Saviola all back in the fold. These three former club legends have been joined by Nicolás Bertolo from Banfield and Lucas Alario from Colón as Gallardo has done some business early to prepare for an important second half of the season.