Abu Dhabi: The fine line between success and failure was evident again on Friday as Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto left the club days after his side’s Copa Libertadores loss to city rivals River Plate.
By contrast, River’s coach Marcelo Gallardo is in Abu Dhabi preparing his side for their Fifa Club World Cup semi-final on Tuesday for the chance to possibly meet Real Madrid in next Saturday’s final.
Gallardo is also fending off talk of a move to Europe, and having to stress that his future remains with River after winning his second Copa Libertadores in four years for the club.
Former Boca coach Schelotto meanwhile is being tipped for a coaching role in America’s MLS.
It’s a stark reminder not only of how quickly things can change in a week, but also how narrow the margins of error are in football.
“Beyond the pain of not having won the cup, I’m going with peace of mind of having given everything,” said Schelotto.
River’s president Daniel Angelici added: “Though the pain and sadness have not yet gone, we understand that the best thing for Boca is change, to start the year with a new coach.”
Boca lost 3-1 to River in the second leg of the final in Madrid on Sunday to lose 5-3 on aggregate. The second leg had to be relocated to Spain after two attempts to stage it in Buenos Aires were abandoned due to crowd trouble late last month.
The Boca bus was attacked by River fans during the first attempt to stage the second leg, leaving several Boca players injured.
It was the first time the two Buenos Aires rivals had met in the final of South America’s pinnacle club competition in the 58-year history of the tournament.