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SPORTS | 06-11-2023 13:34

Almirón resigns as Boca Juniors coach after Copa Libertadores final defeat

Jorge Almirón has resigned as head coach of Boca Juniors, departing after less than eight months in charge.

Jorge Almirón resigned as head coach of Boca Juniors on Sunday, a day after the Xeneize lost 2-1 in the Copa Libertadores final to Brazilian side Fluminense.

Almirón, who only arrived at the club in April, departs after less than eight months in charge of the Buenos Aires giants. Boca have won only three of their last 20 matches and lost the Libertadores final to Fluminense in extra time.

Local media in Argentina said the coach communicated his decision to club idol Juan Roman Riquelme, Boca’s vice-president, in a meeting on Sunday after the squad's return from Rio de Janeiro, where the final was played.

Boca’s main aim this season was Libertadores glory and the hunt for the silverware has papered over the cracks during an inconsistent campaign.

Almirón took over the reins at Boca in April, replacing Hugo Ibarra as coach. His tenure will not be remembered fondly and he departs as the first ‘DT’ in 13 years not to have won a title.

Given the size of the club’s stature, a record of 17 wins, 13 draws and 13 defeats in 43 games is a poor return.

Even Boca’s run to the Libertadores final looks better on paper than it appears – the side failed to win a single game in the knockout roads, progressing on penalty kicks against fellow Argentine side Racing Club, Uruguay's Nacional and Brazil's Palmeiras.

Domestically, Boca finished way behind champions River and are unlikely to progress to the quarter finals of the league cup. 

Topping it off, Almirón’s spell in charge has included two Superclásico defeats to their arch rivals.


Who’s in the running to replace him?

Left rudderless by Almirón’s resignation, Boca are now hunting for a new man at the helm. 

Club sources said the leadership wanted the coach to continue on until December, but accepted the resignation offer when it arrived.

Boca’s next match is on Wednesday against San Lorenzo and caretaker Mariano Herrón, coach of the reserve side, will take charge of the first team for now, as he did when Ibarra was fired earlier this year.

Herrón – who coached the Xeneize to a win, draw and defeat while in temporary charge – could stay on until the end of the year if the results go well.

According to local reports, three ex-teammates of Riquelme are in the running for the role.

Gabriel Milito, without a club after his surprising departure from Argentinos Juniors, is one name featuring prominently on the rumour mill. 

Oher options are ex-Boca star Fernando Gago, who last coached Racing, or Guillermo Barros Schelotto, former coach of the Paraguayan national team.

Another ex-Boca legend, Martin Palermo, has a contract at Platense until December and has not yet decided if he will renew.

 

– TIMES/PERFIL/AFP
 

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