Abu Dhabi: A video has gone viral of River Plate fans arriving at Dubai International Airport just at the moment Al Ain stunned the South American champions 5-4 on penalties in Tuesday’s Club World Cup semi-final.
Fans presumed River would have made light work of Al Ain and so didn’t think twice about skipping the semi and getting a later 20-hour flight from Buenos Aires in time for Saturday’s final against Real Madrid.
However, things didn’t go to plan and just as this particular plane full of fans landed in Dubai they were met with some horrifying news.
“I’ve arrived in Dubai and just found out that River was eliminated while I’m standing in the immigration queue,” said the voice holding a camera phone while filming on his way to baggage claim.
“What do I do here now? I didn’t come here for camels.”
A female fan replied: “I’m happy, it means I can go shopping.”
While another added: “What time is the return flight?”
River still get to play in the third place play-off against Kashima Antlers on Saturday, but it’s not the game fans had paid thousands on flights and hotel rooms here to see.
Fresh from beating their arch-rivals Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid last week, many were now hoping to see their side become Club World Cup champions for only the second time in their history.
In three previous trips to the Club World Cup (or Intercontinental Cup as it was called pre-2000) they have only won once in 1986 against Steaua Bucharest. After this they lost in the final to Juventus in 1996 and Barcelona in 2015, now they can add a semi-final defeat to Al Ain to that illustrious list of opponents. Each time they qualified to this event as champions of South America’s Copa Libertadores.
River fans were mocking Boca supporters in viral banter online after last week’s Copa victory but now it seems the boot is on the other foot.
When Gulf News asked a River fan standing outside his hotel what happened against Al Ain, he replied: “I don’t care, we beat Boca and we are the South American champions.”