Political commentators and bloggers on Capitol Hill talk of the 'Fabbiani effect' when describing the change of mood in the US after Barack Obama's election victory. Cristian Fabbiani's reputation is growing with every game he plays for River Plate and his arrival from Newell's in the close season has gone a long way towards lifting the gloom that surrounded el Monumental. In a transfer saga that rivalled Beckham's move from Man Utd to Real Madrid in 2003 for tedium Velez were also in the running to sign the man they call El Ogro. After much to-ing and fro-ing River finally got their man at the 12th hour, leading Velez to claim that the whole affair showed a lack of respect.
After making his debut in the Copa Libertadores against Nacional of Paraguay where his impact was immediate his stock has grown along with his cult status (not his waistline!) amongst the fans. Many River supporters are already hailing the arrival of a new idol. A constant source of speculation and comment in the Argentine press concerns Fabbiani's physical state and in particular his weight. Usually hovering around the 100 kilo mark in a recent interview with Olé he announced that it was down to 97kg although in typical Ogro style he commented that 'they've always talked about my physical state. It doesn't bother me, I'm used to it'. To assume he's just a battering ram is to do him a great disservice, look at the goal he set-up for Radamel Falcao against Banfield:
A constant source of soundbites and quotes Fabbiani will also have endeared himself to the fans by slating eternal rivals Boca and in his eyes their less than savoury ways of winning matches. A somewhat dumbfounded coach Carlos Ischia responded that 'Boca win because they are the best'.
So we're all set - with el Ogro on the scene we should have some goals, some laughs and even some controversy.
The winner against Rosario Central: