Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Messi, Rodriguez and Griezmann: Football's top stars turn out in Madrid for River Plate v Boca Juniors

The Copa Libertadores final drew the cream of South American football – though the biggest names were in the crowd rather than on the pitch

Some of South American football's biggest names past and present were in Madrid on Sunday night for the Copa Libertadores final, in which River Plate triumphed over Boca Juniors.

Most of them were in the Bernabeu crowd however, as the likes of Argentina's Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala and Colombia's James Rodriguez turned out for a night of high drama.

The match had plenty of build-up, having been postponed three times and shifted to Spain, 10,000 kilometres from its original venue. But this provided the opportunity for the European-based players of other clubs to turn out in force.

Messi, who has provided enough drama of his own during some epic clashes at the Bernabeu for Barcelona against Real Madrid, took his place in the stands along with Barca teammate Jordi Alba.

Atletico Madrid's French international star Antoine Griezmann made it known that he was rooting for Boca prior to the match.

He was later pictured alongside Atletico teammate Diego Godin, who plays international football for Uruguay.

Meanwhile, Juventus's Argentine star Dybala let his fans know on Instagram that he was at the game.

Esteban Cambiasso graced the Bernabeu as a player during the early 2000s, when he spent a couple of seasons with Real Madrid before moving on to Inter Milan in Serie A. He was back last night.

Another former Real player, Wesley Sneijder, who now plays in Qatar, also made his way back to Spain.

Other big names in attendance were Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone and Argentine legend Javier Zanetti.

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