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Podcast 20: Boca Campeon!


On this week’s show we salute the new Apertura champions in Argentina, Boca Juniors, as well as the Club World Cup winners Manchester United. We also:

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Boca Juniors are the new Argentinian champions after an extremely tense finale to the Apertura season. San Lorenzo, Tigre and Boca all finished on 39 points at the end of the regular nineteen game tournament, meaning that, as goal difference does not count, there would be a three way play-off for the title, something that has not happened for 40 years. Remarkably, Boca, Tigre and San Lorenzo each won and lost a game against each other in the mini league decider but Boca’s goal difference of +1 was just better than Tigre’s zero and San Lorenzo’s -1. The final game saw Boca play Tigre and when the Tigers scored in the second half it looked as if a major shock was on the cards – Tigre have never won a national title – but Boca held on to win their 23rd national championship and their first since the Clausura of 2006.

This season’s top scorer was 15-goal Jose Sand from fourth place Lanus who had also been in the title race right up until the final round of matches and thanks to their Clausura performances have qualified for the 2009 Copa Liberatdores. Another team that will play in that tournament is Boca’s great rival, River Plate despite finishing bottom of the table. They sacked their coach Diego Simeone, lost their troubled star Ariel Ortega and only won two matches all season, which their captain Galmarini called shameful, which was hard to disagree with.

Boca will be favourites to retain their title when the clausura kicks off in early 2009 and if they can prevent their top players from moving to Europe and keep midfield maestro Juan Riquelme fit, they will have a strong chance of winning the continental crown as well next year.

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