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Boca part ways with coach after Copa Libertadores loss

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Boca Juniors announced that Guillermo Barros Schelotto will no longer be their coach © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Dec 14Boca Juniors announced Friday it was parting ways with coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the aftermath of the painful Copa Libertadores final defeat to fierce Buenos Aires rivals River Plate.

“Though the pain and sadness have not yet gone, we understand that the best thing for Boca is a change, to start the year with a new coach,” Boca president Daniel Angelici told reporters in the Argentine capital.

Alongside the Boca chief, Barros Schelotto said that “beyond the pain of not having won the cup, I’m going with peace of mind of having given everything”.

Barros Schelotto, a former Boca player, has managed the side for the past three seasons.

It is not known who will replace the 45-year-old, although Angelici admitted that there were “many names” being mentioned as successor.

“I want to thank Guillermo and his coaching staff for fighting to the last in the Copa Libertadores,” said Angelici.

“Everything possible was done to achieve something that in this country is not valued, that is to reach a final.”

Under his guidance, Boca won the last two Argentine championships but losing to River in a violence-tainted final has plunged the club into gloom.

River won the two-legged final 5-3 on aggregate after the second leg was moved more than 6,000 miles (9656 kilometres) away to Madrid to avoid a repeat of the fan violence that forced the postponement of the first leg.

The delayed second leg was played at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium after the original game was postponed following an attack by River fans on the Boca team bus.

Several Boca players needed hospital treatment for eye injuries caused by glass shards and others said they suffered from smoke inhalation outside River’s Monumental Stadium.

The first leg at Boca’s Bombonera stadium had finished 2-2. But despite losing home advantage for the second leg, River prevailed 3-1 after extra time in Madrid.

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