The hours go by and calm slowly begins to return to Boca. The tension, also, is still breathed. The alert button is close at hand to be touched again at any time. The conflict is clear and will be active even when silence prevails: the Soccer Council is in conflict with a good part of the squad, since not all the players agree with the rebellion, although the tsunami drags them. And that situation is still not resolved.
But, of course, there are two people who do not go deeply into that fracture and who are important enough to think about how they must be living these days so convulsed: it is the coach Michelangelo Russo and nothing less than the president Jorge Amor Ameal.
Undoubtedly, if there is one of the two that is more attached to the crisis, that is Russo. Because he’s in an awkward situation in the middle two parts waiting for your reactions in football, to aspire to win the Copa Libertadores again and thus get out of this impasse.
That is why it is the focus of study, of his countenance, of his expressions to know where he is standing in the middle of such an uproar.
On Thursday night, he met at the Intercontinental Hotel, with Captain Carlos Tevez -the man who leads the group and the one most in conflict with the Soccer Council-, Sub-Captain Carlos Izquierdoz and Lisandro López. Ramón Wanchope Ábila could have participated, but preferred not to.
Russo’s request and response
What was the meeting about? The footballers told DT that they had met at the concentration that same noon; and that they spoke of the need for a meeting with Juan Román Riquelme and his assistants (Jorge Bermúdez, Raúl Cascini and Marcelo Delgado) to convey their nonconformity due to the actions that took place, among other cases, with Pol Fernández and Julio Buffarini, at the time not to renew their contracts.
It is installed, in many areas, the idea that real power does not correspond to Ameal. That Riquelme is the true president of the institution.
“If they have a problem with the Council, they talk about it with them. I just want to work,” would have been Russo’s response, in a discreet chat and with total respect. The coach does not want to position himself on one side or the other, although he knows very well that he, like his managers, responds to those who are in the highest rank and who bet on his return to the technical direction.
Carlos Tevez wants Russo to be the channel to “get closer” to the new leadership, made up of some of his former colleagues, and to try to smooth things over.
The coach, 64, he has no intention of filling that role. For this reason, at the moment, the meeting that many footballers want with the Football Council has not yet materialized. Nobody approached to ask Riquelme personally and not his companions.
Russo is not comfortable. Perhaps, he found some calm when he received a telephone call from Riquelme, after the visit of the players. It gave him reassurance both due to the conflict and the rumors that emerged about an alleged intention of the Council to find a new coach.
Riquelme assured him that there is no such search and that he will continue in office. They respect his past at the club (for the 2007 Copa Libertadores title) and his present, for the titles in the Super League and the Diego Maradona Cup.
However, Russo also carries a great annoyance. He did not like that so many things have leaked from the squad and the leadership in recent days. Consider that they should have talked indoors.
On the one hand, the meeting of their players and what was discussed, plus some journalistic interviews. On the other, the audio of Jorge Bermúdez once again showing the bad relationship they have with Tevez. Things that are supposed to be avoidable and that do not collaborate to establish the necessary harmony. And the one that naturally should have a team that comes from obtaining two of the three titles that it had at stake since it took office in December 2019.
The position of the president
On the other side is Jorge Ameal. The idea that real power does not correspond to it is installed in many areas. That Riquelme is the true president of the institution. Due to the size of his figure and because his presence in the elections, logically, was the one that put the most weight in the balance to defeat the ruling party. So, how much influence do you have, how do you get involved and what generates what is happening?
Those close to Ameal say he’s beaten. Because he also had a public appearance and his statements were in a tone of absolute serenity. Regarding the photo that went viral of Tevez with Daniel Angelici, in Pinamar, which reactivated the tension of the internal political climate, he said: “The photos do not bother me, I am interested in what Carlitos is doing with us. very well and that photo does not change anything, “he said. But afterward, the weather got rare.
Ameal is still on the sidelines. For now, he prefers to chat with his peers on the board of directors and let everything stay there. “We agreed among all that it is only he who, if he feels like it, speak about the whole situation to the press,” said one of the men who accompanied him in the administration.
A position quite different from that of the vice president, Mario Pergolini, who published a video on his social networks in which he takes the situation with sarcasm. He made the recording yesterday morning, when he arrived at La Bombonera: “I came to see if there are problems … It seems not. I’m going to have to look on TV to see problems,” he said. For some it was something unnecessary. Others did not care.
The campus still needs answers. Russo, in the middle, waits for the bad drink to pass. Ameal, more estranged, hopes that Boca finds peace before the tournament starts.
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