Borghi quits as Boca coach after River Plate loss

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.

Borghi said he was leaving because of poor results and because

the team 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, which was

the dominant club in South America between 2000 and 2008, when it

won four Copa Libertadores titles. Boca won in 2000, ’01, ’03 and


In May, Borghi became Boca’s fourth coach 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. ”We need a permanent coach.”

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 league 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.