BUENOS AIRES - Juan Sebastian Veron's
silence on Argentina's World Cup performance in South Africa has
The Estudiantes captain has preferred to put pen to paper on
a new one-year contract with the club from La Plata and
concentrate on a good finale to his career.
Argentine fans will be looking to the country's clubs
like Estudiantes to restore some pride in the national game
after a World Cup that started promisingly for Diego Maradona's
team but ended his a 4-0 quarter-final rout by Germany.
Veron travelled to South Africa as a key anchor for
Maradona's side but surprisingly was not even sent on as a
substitute as the Germans overran a lightweight midfield.
There is no doubt, though, that the 35-year-old Veron has
already had a huge influence on the Argentine league since his
return in 2006 from a decade in Europe and Estudiantes were only
pipped to the post by Argentinos Juniors in May for the Clausura
title at the end of last season.
With Argentina's "Big Two" struggling last season, the
titles went to so-called smaller clubs with Banfield securing
their first ever championship in the Apertura in December.
Change, therefore, has been the name of the game in the
Boca Juniors had fraught negotiations to retain the services
of Juan Roman Riquelme, Argentina's big absentee in South Africa
over past differences with Maradona, but securing Claudio Borghi
as coach was a coup.
Borghi, a member of Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning squad
who made his name as a coach in Chile, steered his former club
Argentinos Juniors to the title. Boca open away to Godoy Cruz,
last season's surprise team from Mendoza, on Sunday.
A coach who espouses good, attacking football, Borghi
appeared to caution Boca fans as to their expectations when he
said: "We'll try to have a dignified campaign and win the most
number of points but I'd like Boca to start playing well."
Arch-rivals River Plate, who need a big boost to their
three-season points average to stave off the threat of
relegation, have been busy in the market under Angel Cappa, who
took charge in April, five matches from the end of the Clausura.
Some good results showed immediate promise before a 5-1 rout
at home by modest Tigre, ironically River's rivals in their
Apertura opener, also at home in the Monumental, on Sunday.
"I'm anxious (to start) and I don't feel pressure," Cappa
said. "On the contrary, I'm happy and honoured by the position I
occupy and the anxiety I feel is for the match to start to show
off our (pre-season) work."
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