Buenos Aires, Dec 11 (IANS) Boca Juniors players returned quietly to Argentina after losing in the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid over the weekend to crosstown arch-rival River Plate.
The runners-up in South America’s most prestigious club football competition arrived at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport mid-day on Monday without saying a word to the press, reports Efe.
Midfielder Fernando Gago, who left Sunday’s match with an injury and did not ride on the team bus, travelled in a private vehicle.
At the airport, not a single Boca fan was waiting to greet the team.
The club’s next scheduled match is not until the final week of January, a Superliga Argentina duel with Newell’s Old Boys, but Boca is likely to return to action earlier in January for make-up games against San Martin and Atletico Tucuman, though no dates have been set.
Boca is in fifth place in the Superliga, with 24 points, 12 fewer than leader Racing Club.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto is not expected to sign a contract extension, so Boca Juniors will likely have a new coach when it takes the field in January.
Under the 45-year-old Barros Schelotto, Boca Juniors won two straight championships.
The club, however, fell short in its quest for a third consecutive title in the current tournament and failed to win the Copa Libertadores.
River Plate, for its part, stayed in Madrid and will go straight from there to the United Arab Emirates to play in the FIFA Club World Cup as the South American representative.
On Sunday, River Plate scored two goals in overtime after battling Boca Juniors to a 1-1 tie in regulation, taking home the Copa Libertadores in a nailbiter second-leg match that was moved to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium due to violence.
In the first leg on November 11, the clubs played out a 2-2 draw at Boca’s La Bombonera Stadium here.