Boca favourite Bianchi returns for third stint

17 December 2012 08:46

Argentinian coaching great Carlos Bianchi agreed to come out of retirement and return for a third spell as coach of Boca Juniors on Monday.

The 63-year-old, the only coach to win four Copa Libertadores, came back as general manager four years ago and will take the reins again as the club try to improve on sixth place after the initial league tournament of the season or Torneo Inicial, well adrift of table-toppers Velez Sarsfield.

"Carlos Bianchi has accepted the club's offer and he will be once again coach of Boca," club chairman Daniel Angelici tweeted on his Twitter account.

The return of the man known popularly as "The Viceroy" comes with fans having demanded the replacement of Julio Cesar Falcioni during their weekend win over Godoy Cruz at Boca's cauldron of a Bombonera stadium.

Bianchi won the hearts and minds of Boca fans in two previous stints with the Buenos Aires-based side with whom Diego Maradona made his name by landing four Argentine league titles, three Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups between 1998 and 2004.

Angelici had said on Friday when he first revealed he had made an approach to Bianchi that the choice was self-evident, given his record.

"He is the most successful coach in Boca's history - he knows what Boca is all about," Angelici said.

Before achieving fame as a coach Bianchi was also a successful player and is the highest-scoring Argentine to date in the history of top flight football, home and abroad spells included.

He scored 206 goals in two stints with first club Velez Sarsfield and 179 for French sides Reims, Paris Saint Germain and Strasbourg.

But those achievements are easily forgotten given his coaching success - he won his first Libertadores title with Velez Sarsfield in 1994 before adding three more crowns with Boca, while landing Intercontinental Cup honours with both.

A brief and unhappy spell with Roma preceded his arrival at Boca but his welter of titles back in Argentina more than made up for that.

Bianchi will return to the hotseat six years after his last actual coaching role -- a brief stint with Atletico Madrid after which he entered what he termed an extended "siesta" before he returned in 2009 to Boca as assistant manager for a year prior to entering what seemed a well-earned retirement.

The outgoing Falcioni won the Tourneo Inicial in 2011 and the Argentinian Cup earlier this year but poor recent league form means his contract is not being renewed.

Source: AFP