Leo Ponzio praises River Plate barbecues: The meat strengthens us

The 30-year-old revels in the laughs and stories shared by his team-mates in their club outings, although he admits that he is not such a fan of fishing
River Plate star Leonardo Ponzio praised the team spirit he has found since returning to the squad from Real Zaragoza and attributed this closeness to the communal barbecues organised by the Nacional B title candidates.

The 30-year-old midfielder was team captain with the Spanish club, but rescinded his contract in January to come back to his native Argentina and the Nunez giants. He previously represented the Millo between 2007 and 2009, lifting the 2008 Clausura with the side.

Speaking on Thursday to Ole, Ponzio affirmed that he was impressed with the togetherness of Matias Almeyda's squad, and believes that team activities such as barbecues and fishing trips play a big part in keeping the side together.

"This strengthens the group and in the long-term the difference can be felt," he explained.

"In every job, when you get out of a routine and you get together to eat somewhere else, there are people that talk more and they express themselves differently because other subjects are discussed. These chats create more trust and unity amongst our group, they are fantastic."

Leo continued to admit that, while he was a big fan of the meat-based feasts prepared by the father of coach Almeyda, going out with rod and line did not appeal as much.

"[Fishing] is not my thing, I go along to chat. The idea is not just to go for the barbecue, rather to stay a while and talk about everything, tell anecdotes and laugh a little," he added.

Group barbecues, known as asados in Argentina, are utilised by many clubs as a bonding exercise, although fattier cuts of meat and sausages are often off the menu in deference to the players' in-season diets.