In his fourth game for Flamengo, De La Cruz will make his debut in the classics wearing the red-black shirt. The club’s first and main reinforcement for 2024, the Uruguayan midfielder is one of coach Tite’s weapons to overcome arch-rival Vasco this Sunday, at 7pm (Brasília time), at Maracanã, in the sixth round of the Carioca Championship. The match will be broadcast on Sportv and Premiere throughout the country.
Sergio Lobo praises De la Cruz at Flamengo: “It’s worth what it costs”
De la Cruz has yet to score a goal or provide an assist, yet he is perhaps Flamengo’s biggest highlight at the start of the season alongside Everton Cebolinha. With constant movement, he has been providing a lot of options in attack (he provided the pre-assist for Pedro’s goal against Orlando City and took the free kick for Bruno Henrique’s goal on the rebound against Sampaio Corrêa). And he has also been doing the job in marking, excelling in tackles. But how will he react psychologically in his first classic and with the Maracanã full?
O ge raised the player’s record in the superclassics between River Plate and Boca Juniors in Argentina. Wearing the Millonários shirt, De la Cruz fought highly balanced duels between 2017 and 2023. In total, there were 12 games with four wins for the Uruguayan, four defeats and four more draws. He never scored against the Xeneizes, but he has already provided an assist for a great goal.
- River Plate 1 x 2 Boca Juniors (05/11/2017)
The Uruguayan’s debut in the superclásico was in November 2017, a few months after being signed by River. He was still a substitute and came on in the second half replacing Ariel Rojas, when the team was losing 1-0. With 29 minutes on the field, he took a shot that knocked paint off the post; he took a free kick that forced a good save from Rossi (himself, now Flamengo’s goalkeeper), and provided an assist for Ponzio to equalize with a bomb from the corner. But Boca scored the second goal and imposed De la Cruz’s first defeat in the duel, at the Monumental de Núñez.
- River Plate 0 x 0 Boca Juniors (01/09/2019)
The Uruguayan, who spent much of 2018 injured, including in the Libertadores final against Boca, only returned to play in a superclásico almost two years later. Already as a starter, De la Cruz worked hard, suffered dangerous fouls and stopped after a good save from Andrada in a bomb from the edge of the area. He almost assisted Martínez after a header, but his teammate isolated it. Despite his efforts, he was unable to clear the score at Monumental de Núñez.
- River Plate 2 x 0 Boca Juniors (08/29/2019)
The Uruguayan’s first victory in the superclassic had weight: it was in the first game of the 2019 Libertadores semifinal. Playing at the Monumental de Núñez, River went head on from the start and had an inspired De la Cruz. He forced goalkeeper Andrada to make two great saves, one with the ball rolling and the other with a free kick. With a cross shot, he caught a ball that the defense barely cleared and scraped the post. But there was no foul, and the Millonários won 2-0.
- Boca Juniors 1 x 0 River Plate (10/22/2019)
The second leg of that semi-final resulted in the Uruguayan’s second defeat in the superclásico, but he left celebrating. Playing for the first time at Bombonera, he was more focused on marking and helped River hold off the pressure. He tried to pull off some counterattacks in vain. The adverse score of 1-0 was not enough for Boca, and River advanced to that unforgettable final against Flamengo.
- Boca Juniors 2 x 2 River Plate (02/01/2021)
The second draw in the superclásico happened at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Playing at Bombonera behind closed doors, River staged a comeback within three minutes of the second half, but Boca avoided defeat with a late goal. De la Cruz had a discreet performance in the match, which saw one expulsion on each side.
- Boca Juniors 1 x 1 River Plate (03/14/2021)
Again behind closed doors, the Uruguayan drew again with Boca in a game at Bombonera, this time by 1-1. And De la Cruz was once again very involved: he almost scored a great goal through cover on Andrada, but Lisandro López saved it on top. of the line; he almost missed assisting Paulo Díaz, who missed a good chance in a corner; and he was hunted on the field, even suffering an attack from defender Zambrano, who left his arm in his face and was only shown a yellow card.
- River Plate 0 x 0 Boca Juniors (04/08/2021)
The Uruguayan’s last draw in the superclásico tasted like defeat. Playing at the Estadio Único in La Plata, De la Cruz once again performed discreetly. Although River dominated the match, Boca held on for 0-0 and got the better of the penalties with goalkeeper Rossi taking a penalty and qualifying the team for the quarter-finals of the Copa Argentina. The Millonários only converted one, and the midfielder, who would probably be the last, didn’t even have the opportunity to score.
- River Plate 2 x 1 Boca Juniors (03/10/2021)
The Uruguayan once again got the better of the return of the superclásico to the Monumental de Núñez and the return of the public to the duel. And it was a hot game, with a Boca player expelled (Rojo) and De la Cruz’s harsh mouth to the midfielder Campuzano. The midfielder made some good dribbles, but did not participate in the goals.
- River Plate 0 x 1 Boca Juniors (03/20/2022)
De la Cruz suffered his third defeat in the superclásico in a game for the Argentine League Cup at Monumental de Núñez. The Uruguayan, who suffered a harsh challenge from the Peruvian Advíncula, saw his teammates stop at goalkeeper Rossi and defender González Pírez miss badly in Boca’s winning goal. He ended up being substituted midway through the second half.
- Boca Juniors 1 x 0 River Plate (11/09/2022)
The Uruguayan’s fourth and final defeat in the superclásico came at the Bombonera. In a game of the 2022 Argentine Championship, De la Cruz played a discreet performance and saw River lose 1-0. In the final minutes, he took a flying shot from Rojo, who was sent off, but Boca held on for the victory.
- River Plate 1 x 0 Boca Juniors (05/07/2023)
De la Cruz won his third superclassic last year. Playing at the Monumental de Nuñez packed with 84,500 people, the Uruguayan had a good performance: he almost scored a great goal that goalkeeper Romero did a miracle; He barely missed out on assisting Barco and even missed a good header chance. Even so, River won with a penalty goal in stoppage time, and the match ended with widespread confusion on the field.
- Boca Juniors 0 x 2 River Plate (01/10/2023)
De la Cruz’s last superclassic also ended in victory. Playing inside the Bombonera, the Uruguayan distributed the game well with good passes and throws: he gave a good ball to Rondón in the area, but his teammate was unable to finish; he also left Barco in front of the goal, but he shot it wide. But there was no foul, and River won 2-0.
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