Russo replaces La Volpe as Boca Jnrs coach

December 16, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Miguel Angel Russo will replace Ricardo La Volpe as Boca Juniors coach after the team lost the Argentine championship in a playoff.

Russo, 50, left his job as coach of Velez Sarsfield to accept the Boca offer.

'I want to welcome Miguel and wish him the best of luck and to thank Velez Sarsfield for allowing him to leave to come to work with us,' Boca President Mauricio Macri said at the official announcement of Russo's new job on Friday.

'We've been watching his work for a long time,' Macri said.

Russo said he would start work as quickly as possible and declined to talk about any possible changes in the team.

'I'm still shocked. Talking to the Velez people was not easy for me,' he told reporters as he entered Boca's Bombonera stadium before the official announcement.

La Volpe resigned after Boca lost 2-1 in Sunday's playoff to Estudiantes and missed out on a third successive title.

La Volpe, reserve goalkeeper in Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning squad, returned to the country to coach Boca after living and working in Mexico for 26 years.

He coached several Mexican clubs and was in charge of the national side from 2002 until the 2006 World Cup, when Mexico lost in the second round to Argentina.