It may happen that today in his role as campaign leader Juan roman riquelme It bothers him that people don’t talk about anything other than the classification of Boca to the next Libertadores Cup. But the reality is that the fans’ calculators are at full capacity even after the absolutely necessary triumph in Mendoza against Godoy Cruz. Calculators and prayers… And Partly all of this was his fault, because of how he made everyone believe that getting that trophy was something very simple.
The first chance: help from Central Córdoba
Up to this point, those classified for the Libertadores are River (for winning the Professional League) and Talleres and Rosario Central (67 and 65 points, respectively) in the annual table. Everyone has already secured a place in the group stage. Godoy Cruz, at 63, must wait…
With the 2-1 in Mendoza, Boca arrived to 62 points in the annual table and finished 5th, with Estudiantes and San Lorenzo one point away and with a game in hand (both play this Monday and have a worse goal difference than Xeneize: it is not enough for them to equal them in points). Initially, what Boca needs is for San Lorenzo not to beat Central Córdoba since if Ciclón achieves a victory on their field, Boca will have no chance of accessing the Libertadores.
The thing is that if San Lorenzo wins, it will be placed in the annual table and Boca will be left out of the top continental tournament because the other classified will be Estudiantes or Defensa y Justicia, whoever wins the Argentine Cup.
The other light
In the event that San Lorenzo cannot beat Central Córdoba, Boca would be better off with a draw or loss for Estudiantes against Lanús. Because if Estudiantes win, Boca will need Pincha to also win the Argentine Cup to free up a place and for River, Rosario Central or Godoy Cruz to win the League Cup to free up another place and stay in third place in the general table. This is the most he can aspire to and would give him a place in the second stage (there are three) of the preliminary phase of the Libertadores. In other words, Boca can no longer directly enter the group stage.
The Topo Gigio Paradox
It was Román who made Boca win the Cup again after 22 years in those 2000 finals against Palm trees. The one who won the two-time championship in 2001 against Blue Cross. And the one who returned in 2007 to be the exclusive figure of the last conquest of America to this day, the one that ended with a round-trip beating of the Guild.
It was also Román who, after retiring and before becoming a leader, raised the price of the Libertadores and lowered it for the tournament. “The Cup is worth ten Argentine championships. Winning a local tournament with Boca is important, but winning the Copa Libertadores is being a good soccer player. If you want to show that you are good, you have to win the Cup. You are three or four years in Boca, you are going to win some championship, you are going to win some Argentine Cup,” he said in 2015, shortly after his retirement. And he ratified the idea in December 2020, with one year in office: “The Copa Libertadores is the most important tournament that I have had to play in with the Boca shirt… It is difficult to win any local tournament, but If you are good you have to win the Libertadores…”.
Now, with the elections around the corner and thick ammunition from one side to the other, Qualification for the 2024 edition became even more complicated this Sunday, prior to the clash with Godoy Cruz, and it may be difficult to digest that Boca is left out and has to play the Sudamericana, although JR lowered the price after the defeat in Córdoba with Estudiantes.
“I played for a long time here and I had seasons when I didn’t play in the Libertadores. I love this club and we always have the hope of playing and reaching the end, but I was also a footballer and I didn’t listen with as much euphoria as now when we had to be left outside.“said the idol, after the elimination of the Argentine Cup that left Boca without the possibility of depending on itself to qualify.
The post first appeared on www.ole.com.ar