Claudio Borghi quit as Boca Juniors coach on Wednesday, a day after the team’s 1-0 loss to bitter rival River Plate in the most highly anticipated match of the season in Argentine football.
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Borghi said he was leaving because of poor results and because the club never developed a clear style of play. He was also largely without top playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, who underwent left knee surgery in May. Riquelme, a former Barcelona star, has played only two matches since then. He started on Tuesday but went off after 45 minutes with a right foot injury.
"There are things we did badly," Borghi said. "After seeing the game yesterday, I realized that perhaps a coaching change would give the team a new life."
Borghi’s departure adds to the chaos at Boca Juniors.
Borghi became Boca’s fourth coach in May in four months, following Alfio Basile, Abel Alves and Roberto Pompei. The favorite to replace Borghi is reported to be Banfield coach Julio Cesar Falconi. Club president Jorge Ameal said Pompei would fill in again until the Apertura season ends in December.
"We’re going to take the time needed to sign a coach," Ameal said.
Borghi, who led Argentinos Juniors to the Clausura title in May, is a top candidate for the Chile national team job with Marcelo Bielsa stepping down.
"I’ve heard nothing from them," said Borghi, who was a successful coach with Chilean club Colo Colo.
Boca Juniors and River Plate are Argentina’s two most popular clubs, but neither has won a title since 2008 and both are struggling again this season. The clubs carry a stature in Argentina similar to Real Madrid or Barcelona in Spain, and their fall has been humiliating.
Boca has 17 points from 14 games and is 15th in the 20-team league. River has 21, but is in danger of being relegated. In Argentina, the drop is decided on results over three seasons.
Angel Cappa resigned last week as River Plate coach after the club’s seventh straight winless match. He was the team’s third coach in 13 months.