CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez hailed the rescheduled Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabeu as a success and praised Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for making it happen.
River lifted the South American equivalent of the Champions League for a fourth time by winning 3-1 in extra-time, coming from a goal down but dominating the extra period after Boca midfielder Wilmar Barrios was sent off.
Crucially, the second leg of the final between the fierce Argentine rivals, originally due to take place two weeks ago at River’s Monumental stadium but which was postponed due to violence, passed off without a hint of crowd trouble.
“The important thing is that there was a winner at last and there was no trouble. I have to thank Florentino Perez because it was a spectacular occasion for everyone, I’m grateful to him for that,” Dominguez told reporters.
“The idea came from me and my team and then we asked Florentino, he said ‘yes’, this dream was made a reality and this great final was enjoyed by everyone.”
The switch from Buenos Aires to Spain provoked outrage in South America, but Dominguez said he was pleased with the outcome.
“Our aim was always for the game to be played in Argentina, we tried it twice but in the end it was a party that took place in Madrid,” he added.
“We saw a very intense game of football and there was a lot of happiness in the stadium.”