Reported on: December 23, 2010 11:41 AM
Reported in: Sports
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 23 (AP/UNB) - Julio Cesar Falcioni was appointed Boca Juniors coach on Wednesday, replacing Claudio Borghi, who resigned a month ago following the team's 1-0 loss to fierce rival River Plate.
The 54-year-old Falcioni had stepped down several days ago as the coach at Banfield, clearing the way to join Boca.
One of Argentina's most popular clubs, Boca has struggled in recent seasons. Boca finished with 25 points in the just-completed Apertura season, 20 fewer than champion Estudiantes.
"This is the top spot that a man in Argentine football can aspire to," Falcioni said. "With the help of the players, we'll try to put Boca in the place it deserves."
Falcioni, who played professionally as a goalkeeper, coached Banfield to the 2009 Apertura title. He has also coached Velez Sarsfield, Olimpo, Independiente, Colon and Gimnasia y Esgrima.
Diego Maradona, who starred for Boca as a player, lobbied for the job and has been critical of Falcioni.
Boca has been through a string of coaches recently. In May, Borghi became Boca's fourth coach in four months, following Alfio Basile, Abel Alves and Roberto Pompei, who also filled in after Borghi departed.
Falcioni tried to keep expectations modest, knowing the club's demanding fan base will be immediately looking for titles. "We can't promise more than hard work, responsibility and discipline," Falcioni said. "Surely with the help and dedication of the players, we'll achieve important goals."
Boca Juniors were the dominant club in South America between 2000 and 2008, winning four Copa Libertadores titles, but Boca - like River Plate - has not won a league title since 2008.