What Boca Are About
That magical winning formula (“Sportivo Ganar Siempre” or “Sporting Always Win” was the name given to the club by Toto Lorenzo) and the respect the club enjoys internationally were generated under the presidency of 49-year-old Mauricio Macri during the tenure of Carlos Bianchi as coach. Macri took over as president in 1996 and endured a couple of barren years on the sporting front before choosing the perfect architect for his project, Bianchi, whom he unveiled to the public on 2 July 1998. Then, buoyed by the success on the pitch brought about by the coach, he allowed the club to grow as an institution, modernised the training facilities, remodelled the Bombonera and enabled Boca to rub shoulders with some of the world’s greatest clubs in friendly and official matches. Macri, a man of great character who is not universally popular, succeeded in making the club profitable (he sold idols such as Riquelme, Tevez and Gago) and fulfilled his promise of creating a “hegemonic Boca”. Macri bears comparison to AC Milan owner and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in that he is a businessman from the centre-right who used football as a launch pad for entering politics and was this year elected chief of government of Buenos Aires. However, he is due to step down as president of Boca after 12 years in charge.
Today Boca, one of the two big clubs in Argentina, are also giants of South America. They are the giants of the Bombonera, the club where Maradona played and three national team managers have coached. The giants that everyone respects, the giants that are returning to Japan with only one thing in mind. As Martin Palermo, the club’s idol and captain and the man who scored two goals against Real Madrid in 2000 says: “I don’t want to belittle our squad, but Milan’s current team, with Pirlo, Nesta and players with several Champions League medals, is frightening. But if we come up against them in the final, it’s only one game and there it won’t matter who we’re up against.” That is what Boca are about.