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South American Dispatch: Diego Buonanotte Doesn’t Yet Know About Car Crash Deaths

River Plate’s chief medical officer Horacio Cavallieri gave an optimistic view of Diego Buonanotte’s condition following the car crash he was involved in over Christmas However, severe bruising to the player’s right lung remains a concern and in Cavallieri's assessment he said he did not expect Buonanotte to play "for at least seven months".

The 21-year-old midfielder is currently being cared for in the intensive care unit at Los Arcos Hospital in Buenos Aires.

“Buonanotte’s condition is stable and there are many factors which give us cause to be optimistic. The highest risk is within the first 72 hours following the accident and we are now past that period,” said Cavallieri.

Cavallieri has stated that the fracture to the player’s humerus is expected to heal without complications but the main cause for concern is the right lung, which was subject to a very heavy impact during the crash.

Aside from the doctors, the only people who have had contact with Buonanotte at present are his family, and River Plate’s vice-president Diego Turnes said it was important to “care for the person and not the player” at this time.

“When Diego recovers we can begin to speak of him as a player but the important thing now is recovery,” added Turnes.

The physical injuries do not look as serious as first thought following the accident which saw Buonanotte lose control of his Peugeot 307 and crash into a tree on the side of the motorway. What will also have to be addressed though is the impact the crash will have on the footballer’s mental state.

It is believed that Buonanotte is yet to be told about the deaths of his three childhood friends in the crash, and surely this news will have a far more profound effect on him than any physical injury.

Elder Statesman Of Argentina Appeals For Peace

After a charity match to raise money for his PUPI Foundation, Javier Zanetti gave his views on the conflict threatening to tear apart the Argentine national team.

Zanetti’s years of experience and his respect within the Argentine football fraternity enabled him to speak frankly about the bad blood which exists between Diego Maradona and Carlos Bilardo.

“I feel as part of this current selection it is time to pull together as one and leave any differences aside. We must all work together to reach the goal of winning the World Cup,” Zanetti said.

The Inter defender holds the Argentinian record for international caps with 136 caps to his name. And he spoke after the charity event about the importance of a definite system put in place for the Argentina team before the World Cup in South Africa.

“It is essential that we come together and talk a lot to know exactly how Diego wants the team to play. It is important that coaches have their own ideas and we must follow what we are told to do. Of course sometimes we will win and sometimes we will lose.”

Former Argentine international Fernando Redondo, however, is full of confidence in Maradona as a coach and sees glory waiting for his nation in South Africa.

“I am very optimistic about the selection. The phase of preparation will be key to the World Cup and it gives me peace of mind to know the quality of the players we have. The World Cup is a short tournament and we are very lucky with the group we have.”

Redondo added that the six months before the World Cup is plenty of time for the differences between Maradona and Bilardo to be ironed out.

Vagner Loves Copa Libertadores Football

Misfit striker Vagner Love has reiterated his desire to join up with Brazilian champions Flamengo next year. The Palmerias player, on loan from CSKA Moscow, was speaking after playing in a charity match organised by Zico.

“I hope for a much better year in 2010. I want to play in the Copa Libertadores and Flamengo will be in it next year. I have never played in the competition and I really want the chance next year. I hope the negotiations with Flamengo work out so I can move back to Rio de Janeiro and be with my family and friends,” said Love.

Love’s current side Palmeiras will not be in the 2010 tournament despite leading the Brazilian Serie A for 19 rounds this year. A disastrous end to the campaign saw Palmeiras finish the league in fifth and Love himself took a fair share of the supporters’ blame.

A deal to take him to Flamengo in time for next season will not be a straightforward one though, with Palmeiras and CSKA Moscow both looking for a payout.

Tim Sturtridge,