River Plate has a new jewel, and he’s called Cristian Ferreira. Only 19 years old and with some decisive appearances in the last games of Marcelo Gallardo‘s team, the young man from Cordobés already delights all the fans of the River PLate with his talent and his goals.
With an exit clause of 25 million Euros and a contract recently signed until 2022, the River Plate world hopes to enjoy his magic for a long time, although everyone already knows that Ferreira’s future sooner or later will be in Europe.
Cristian Ferreira is skilful with both feet, has great vision of the game and a remarkable punch, despite his young age. The responsibility of wearing the shirt of a big team like River Plate seems not to weigh him down; he takes risks and is committed to the game, he asks for the ball, knows how to position himself tactically and his passes between the lines are of a high level.
Cristian Ferreira was born on September 12, 1999, in Córdoba and began his sports career at Club Las Palmas, where due to his great performances he was caught by the talented followers of River Plate and was taken to Buenos Aires to join their youth teams.
There he lived in a pension 50 meters from the Monumental stadium along with several other children who came from the inner cities with dreams of someday playing in the first division.
His performances in the youth sides were outstanding, but being away from his family, his friends and his neighborhood saw several times pack his bags to abandon his desire to succeed in football and return to his city.
“I cried a lot and I wanted to leave,” he told the Party magazine “1986” in October 2017.
To mitigate the sadness that generated him not being close to his loved ones, he used to go often to the house of an aunt who was in Buenos Aires.
After a long journey in the lower divisions, he moved from the sixth division to the reserve team in 2017, but not before his position on the field of play had undergone a transformation.
From centre forward to offensive midfielder
As his technique and control of the ball were increased, his physique seemed stagnant and did not grow and his build no longer favoured him to continue playing centre forward.
Pablo Lavallen, his seventh division coach, started using him as an offensive midfielder, a position that, due to his balance in 1v1 situations and his exquisite touch, favoured and boosted him.
In his debut in the River Plate reserves, Cristian Ferreira showed great dead ball ability to score a free kick goal that earned River Plate a 1-1 draw with Belgrano.
“I like to attend a lot, hand to hand and free throws, luckily, I always had the punch in. Also, obviously, I like to define a lot”, that is how he defines himself every time he is asked how he plays.
His centre-forward position was left behind and now he showed off his rivals with the ball on his feet, demonstrating tactical wisdom, good positioning, a great variety of medium and long-distance passes and a game that became not only colourful but also effective.
Debut in the first division
He made his debut in the First Division on October 28, 2017, in a match in which River Plate, consisting of a team composed of substitutes and youth, fell 4-0 to Talleres, in Córdoba. He already has eighteen official appearances in the top category, with a total of 705 minutes, and has scored five goals, at a rate of one every 141 minutes of play.
Nicknamed Chucky in the privacy of the squad, Cristian Ferreira has scored three goals in the last three games for River Plate. The first was in the 4 to 2 against Newell’s, in which he was also the most influential player on the scoreboard, as he took the corner for the goal of Lucas Martínez Quarta and also won the penalty that Ignacio Scocco scored. The last two goals, as visitors, helped River Plate to rescue a valuable draw against Alianza Lima, in the opener in the Copa Libertadores title defence, and to beat Atlético Tucumán in a key clash in search of a place in the Liberators 2020 through the Superliga.
Zone 14: your favorite place
Cristian Ferreira is skilled at playing in the most influential sector of the field, with his great touch, his shots to the rival goal are always dangerous. He is able to beat a man with a dribble and fake with his posture and always seems to find the right pass in the final third.
Seconds before receiving the ball in that zone his head knows what is the best decision, with characteristics similar to Manuel Lanzini, it is that kind of player that when the ball is at his feet everyone knows that something good can happen.
He likes to play in zone 14, he feels comfortable there and he knows that from there he is decisive. Despite his youth and his inexperience he has no problem carrying the team on his shoulders if necessary. He knows where he can hurt the opponent and assumes the leading role.
Cristian Ferreira is no longer a good player project. The leading role he played in his first few games since his debut and his remarkable performances have led Marcelo Gallardo to give him more and more minutes.
With an exquisite technique and the power of his shot, Cristian Ferreira can hope to get to where he wants. His ambition to play in the Argentina team and in a big team in Europe only depends on him. If his head remains focused, the freshness that shows every time he enters the field of play is still intact and does not fall into the temptations that permanently provoke the great players, Cristian Ferreira is a player that can progress.
River Plate fans are excited about this new jewel, and no wonder, in a few games he demonstrated remarkable conditions, it only depends on him becoming a world class player or just a shooting star.