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Football: River Plate return from relegation to win 35th title


Buenos Aires giants River Plate returned to their glory days on Sunday as they won their 35th Argentine title, just two years after being relegated to the second division in 2011-12.

The historical capital club clinched their first top flight title since 2008, as coach Ramon Diaz masterminded a final day 5-0 win over Quilmes, which kept them above bitter rivals Boca Juniors and Estudiantes La Plata at the top of the table.

Former Bordeaux striker Fernando Cavenaghi struck twice in the win at their Monumental Stadium as the club from the north of the city sent their fans into raptures.

"The supporters as much as us needed this," said an escatic Diaz who remains the club's most successful coach and is also a former championship winning player.

"To finish champions again after such a long time, and after the difficulties we've encountered. Today, we're going to party!" added the 54-year-old, who also won silverware as a player in Europe with Inter Milan and Monaco.

The city centre became a sea of red and white colours as River Plate fans celebrated deep into the early hours of Monday following their triumph.

The club which was founded in 1901 has seen star players such as Mario Kempes, Hernan Crespo, Radamel Falcao and Gonzalo Higuain grace their ranks as they succeeded city neighbors San Lorenzo as champions.

Tenth in the table, San Lorenzo, who are supported by Buenos Aires native Pope Francis, are still competing in the Copa Libertadores where they have reached the semi-finals.