River Plate star Diego Buonanotte revealed that he is finally coming to terms with the car crash last Christmas which left three of his friends dead, including the sick chants he receives on the subject from the opposition terraces.
'El Enano', considered one of Argentina's brightest forward prospects before the accident, was severely injured after losing control of his vehicle and slamming into a tree in the early hours of Boxing Day 2009. Now back playing, he has been the target of abuse from certain sets of opposition fans ever since returning to the pitch, with shouts of "murderer" common when he receives the ball or enters the field.
"It is really tough [to hear]. But I can't do anything but face up to it and have faith that everything will get better. Before returning, for example, I was scared about what could happen because when you enter the stadium you forget about everything. I was wrong though: players are very respectful. The ones who don't have respect are the fans," Buonanotte admitted in an interview with Ole.
"For paying the ticket they feel they have the right to shout about anything they like, and say anything to you. I am now used to hearing them shout 'murderer' at me, but I can't believe there are people with such bad feeling around. It's fine though, now it just sounds funny."
"Now, when these idiots shout at me, I look at them and laugh. What am I going to say to them?"
Buonanotte continued to reveal that upon returning he struggled to see football in the same way and with the same motivation as before the crash, while stating the event which really turned his life around was the knowledge that he was to be a father. The 22-year-old nevertheless remains committed to River, and hopes that the club's recent good form means they can finally leave relegation worries behind.
"Everything has its place and importance. As a footballer I am not so ignorant to say that relegation doesn't matter. Thank God, today we are out of the promocion. River should be fighting for titles," Buonanotte asserted.
"I need to be there with my head on the game all the time, I need to feel useful. Having been confined to bed after the accident it meant that my head was all over the place. That's why now I want to help, play and, with the love and support of my family, come out on top."