Carlos Tevez struck the goal that clinched Boca Juniors the Argentine Superliga title on a dramatic final day of the season — after planting a good luck pre-match kiss on Diego Maradona, the coach of opposing side Gimnasia.
Boca entered the final round of matches trailing River Plate by a point, but their bitter Buenos Aires rivals left the door ajar after a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Tucuman.
Tevez blasted home the winner from the edge of the area on 72 minutes at La Bombonera as Boca secured a 1-0 victory on Saturday to earn a third league title in four years.
Former Argentina playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has won a three-way battle with bitter rival Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta after his group won the elections at Boca Juniors, striking a big blow against his old foe Maradona.
The list headed by Jorge Ameal, who was club president between 2008 and 2011, won 52.8 percent of the vote from Boca’s 84,000 members, bringing Riquelme into the 33-time Argentine champions’ hierarchy.
The 41-year-old stood alongside Ameal as prospective second vice-president and helped see off the faction supported by Maradona and powerful outgoing president of Argentina Mauricio Macri, which was led by Christian Gribaldo and only gathered 30.6 percent of the vote.
The list supported by Batistuta came in a distant third with 16.1 percent.
“It was a big party. Our fans voted for the love of the club colours, I’m satisfied,” said Riquelme after his side’s victory.
There has been bad blood between the pair since Riquelme snubbed Maradona, then Argentina’s coach, by refusing to come out of retirement for the 2010 World Cup, making it clear the refusal was personal.
Maradona, who is a hero in Argentina but won little with Boca, warned fans against voting for Riquelme’s faction, saying results would worsen on the pitch.
There was also a concerted effort by the previous club administration, backed by Macri, to block out Riquelme’s presence in the campaigning.
A photo showing him wearing the Boca number 10 was banned from the ballot paper, and the club warned fans ahead of election day that anyone wearing a Riquelme T-shirt would not be allowed to vote at the club’s Bombonera stadium.
However Riquelme’s support was key to Ameal’s victory as a highly successful playmaker for the capital city club.
He scored three times in the 5-0 aggregate win over Gremio to win their last Copa Libertadores in 2007, Riquelme’s third for the club and Boca’s sixth overall.
Boca reached the Libertadores final again last year only to lose to fierce rivals River Plate in a controversial final that saw the second leg moved to Madrid following fan trouble. River also eliminated Boca in this year’s semi-finals.
The new board’s priority will be to bring back the international lustre that Riquelme experienced as a player for one of South America’s biggest clubs.
The loss was second defeat for Macri in less than two months. He was Boca president from 1995 to 2006 and used that as a springboard to nationwide political success.
He became president of Argentina in 2015 as the head of his centre-right Cambiemos party, but his rule will end on December 10 after losing October’s presidential elections to leftist Alberto Fernandez.
River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors in Madrid, casting uncertainty over the December 9 fixture.
The match between the Argentine arch-rivals has been moved to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium after it was twice postponed last weekend after River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus.
The match is due to be played in the Spanish capital on December 9, but River Plate said they “confirmed their rejection of the change of location”.
In a statement on the club’s website, River said it was “incomprehensible” that the game had been moved to Spain.
River said the club bore no responsibility for the “faults in the security operation” for the high profile fixture in Buenos Aires.
“It is incomprehensible that the superclasico cannot take place as normal in the same country where a G20 summit is currently taking place,” the club added.
World leaders including US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are attending the G20 summit in the Argentine capital this weekend.
“The club believes this decision demeans the competition, prejudices those who have bought tickets and makes it unfair,” River continued.
Several hours before River put out their statement, Boca Juniors said they were going to appeal against the decision to move the match to Madrid to the South American football federation CONMEBOL, and eventually to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Several Boca Juniors players including Pablo Perez needed hospital treatment for injuries caused by shards of glass and others complained about the effects of inhaling teargas in the team attack last Saturday.
Boca had refused to play the match and it was postponed 24 hours, only to then be called off indefinitely the next day.
Boca petitioned CONMEBOL to be awarded the trophy but that was rejected on Thursday.
CONMEBOL, which is headquartered in Paraguay, decided Argentina was in no fit state to host such an important match and ordered it played elsewhere, with Real president Florentino Perez jumping on the opportunity and offering use of the Bernabeu for free.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Saturday that “idiots ruined the party” for everyone at the Copa Libertadores.
“I was here last Saturday,” Infantino said at a press conference at the G20 summit.
“It was a sad moment for everyone. It is a football match. It is not a war, not even a battle.”
“We have to work to find out who are the people to blame. You have to identify them and get them out (of football),” said Infantino.
“I hope this does not happen any longer,” he said. “This story must mark the end of one chapter and the start of a new one.”
The FIFA boss believes it is up to CONMEBOL to decide the fate of the final.
They “must take a decision, they know all the factors,” he said, adding: “It has to be played, nothing should stop football.”
Infantino insisted that Argentina “does not have to feel ashamed” over the final being moved to Madrid.
“Argentina has to feel energised to change this, to use it for positive change,” he said.
Former Manchester United and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez appears closer to a move back to boyhood club Boca Juniors after 12 months in Chinese football with Shanghai Shenhua, according to Argentine press reports Friday.
“It’s already a fact: Carlos Tevez is a Boca player once again,” La Nacion newspaper reported on its webpage.
Argentine news agency Telam said that Tevez had even negotiated what jersey he will wear for what would be his third stint at the Buenos Aires club — number 32.
“Up to now there’s nothing official,” a Boca source told AFP without ruling out an announcement in the coming days.
The 33-year-old Argentine joined Shenhua in January last year on an estimated 730,000 euros a week salary, making him one of the world’s highest-paid players.
A spokesman for Shenhua confirmed to AFP Friday that the club is in talks with the globetrotting Argentine to end his contract.
Tevez scored only four goals in the Chinese championship during an injury-marred season in which he missed the Chinese Cup Final which his team won.
Argentine striker, Carlos Tevez, is set to join Chinese Super League (CSL), Shanghai Shenhua, from his former club Boca Juniors, on a record transfer fee of 84 million euros.
The hefty price tag will make Tevez the world’s 6th most expensive player, behind Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Neymar.
The 32 year old is the second big-money arrival in china’s biggest city in less than a week after Brazilian midfielder, Oscar, joined local rivals Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea in a deal believed to be worth 60 million euros.
Shenhua, who are coached by former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder, Gus Poyet, made the announcement on Thursday, after the Argentina star arrived in Shanghai for a medical ahead of his unveiling.
FIFA has announced the referee for match 61 of the FIFA World Cup™, the first semi-final between Brazil and Germany. It will be Marco Rodríguez, the Mexican referee who officiated in the match that saw Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez bite Italian Giorgio Chiellini.
Rodriguez, who did not see the incident involving Suarez and Chiellini during the match, which led to the Uruguay star being thrown out of the tournament and banned from football for four months, now has the task of keeping order in Sao Paulo for Tuesday’s game.
The 40 year old, who sent off Italy’s Claudio Marchisio in the same Group D fixture, during this tournament, also officiated in the group-stage match – Belgium v. Algeria.
Brazil 2014 is the third FIFA World Cup™ for Rodríguez and he refereed two games at each of the last two editions but has never officiated in a knockout stage match. In 2010, one of his matches was Germany’s 4-0 victory over Australia.
During his career, Rodríguez has been selected for several international tournaments, including five editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013), the Copa América 2004, the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 and three FIFA U-17 World Cups (2003, 2005 and 2013).
At club level, he has refereed three CONCACAF Champions League finals, and his most prestigious assignment was the final of the FIFA Club World Cup 2007 between Boca Juniors and AC Milan. He later oversaw Al Ahly v. Corinthians in the 2012 semi-finals of the same competition.
Meanwhile, Germany midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has warned match officials in the semi-final to keep an eye on Brazil’s physical approach.
“Hard challenges definitely are part of their game, it’s something we have to be careful of and the referee too,” Schweinsteiger said.