New Boca Juniors coach Gustavo Alfaro (center) poses with the team jersey alongside president Daniel Angelici (right) and sports director Nicolas Burdisso (left)
Buenos Aires (AFP) - Argentine giants Boca Juniors named Gustavo Alfaro as their new coach on Wednesday, just hours after former boss Guillermo Barros Schelotto joined LA Galaxy.
Barros Schelotto left the Buenos Aires club last month after their historic Copa Libertadores final defeat to arch rivals River Plate.
Boca president Daniel Angelici, who had tried and failed to have River kicked out of the Libertadores final after the second leg was postponed following an attack on Boca’s team bus by their rivals’ fans, said Alfaro had the “ability and professionalism to take charge of” the club known as the “Dung Shovellers.”
Alfaro, 56, who leaves another Buenos Aires outfit, Huracan, said he felt a “mixture of pride and challenge. It wasn’t an easy decision because I was torn inside.
“But I feel that I’m delivering on a promise to my old man: I promised him I’d arrive at the biggest (club) in Argentine football.”
Boca had been linked with former Brazil and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, as well as former Argentina and Colombia boss Jose Pekerman.
Barros Schelotto, 45, left the club despite having led them to back-to-back titles in his first two seasons before the disappointment of losing to River in South America’s premier club competition, the final second leg of which was switched to Madrid – and won 3-1 by River – due to the fan violence.
Two weeks ago, Boca named former Inter Milan and Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso as their sporting director, his first management job since retiring as a player at the end of last season.