Boca’s latest two transfer targets

Either the world’s going a little bit mad, or Pedro Pompilio is beginning to lose touch with reality a tad. The identities of two players Boca Juniors may currently be considering for the transfer market have been revealed, and they make for surprising reading. Both were born in South America, but that’s about the least surprising aspect of their identities. One is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira – Ronaldinho to the world at large. The other is a powerful box-to-box midfielder coming to the end of a brilliant career. His name is Edgar Davids…

Ronaldinho seems the more likely of the two to actually make the move, albeit not perhaps this year as Boca would like to hope. He was in the stands during the recent Brazil vs. Argentina World Cup qualifier and was seen talking to Juan Carlos Crespi, Boca’s third vice-president. Telephone contact between the club and Ronaldinho’s brother and agent was established the following day, and although the 28-year-old Brazilian star would prefer to remain in Europe for the duration, it seems the chances of him one day stepping out at La Bombonera aren’t as remote as might first seem.

Ronaldinho was born and brought up in Porto Alegre, in Brazil’s far south, an area closer to the Río De La Plata than to Brazil’s biggest urban (and footballing) regions. His first words to Lionel Messi on the latter’s promotion to Barcelona’s first team squad were reportedly a heavily-Argentine-accented ‘¡Che, boludo!‘, and a certain famous ex-Boca playmaker who did quite well for Argentina in 1986 is his idol. If, as many South American players do, he’s to make his way back home towards the end of his career, it seems he might be planning to do it via the docklands of Buenos Aires.

Edgar Davids’s arrival would be an even bigger shock. The Suriname-born Netherlands international spoke after a recent friendly between Japan and a rest-of-the-world XI organised by Hidetoshi Nakata to raise money to help the victims of the recent cyclone in Burma. Talking to an Italian journalist who was to travel to Buenos Aires the following day, Davids explained: ‘I’d love to play for Boca. There are offers to carry on with Ajax or to go and play in the United States or Japan. But without a doubt, what would really interest me is to experience Argentine football.’* Whether Boca could find a place in their squad for a player who’s already 35 years old is the sticking point, because the player’s words didn’t come prompted by a transfer bid, but imagine if more players put interesting new experiences ahead of personal monetary gain when weighing up their next career moves…

*I’m translating this into English from the Spanish-language reports of the interview. Since I presume Davids didn’t actually speak in Spanish at the time, this may not be word-for-word perfect.

12 thoughts on “Boca’s latest two transfer targets

  1. Hepa ! Bring on Dinho ! Ha Ha ! Well, I think Pompilio is starting to sound like what’s his name that runs River. Alot of names thrown around, but what is the reality ? Maybe Boca could become a refuge for disenchanted, semi personality disordered, very talented south americans who have worn out their welcome in Europe. Can you imagine the Bombonera with Dinho on the pitch ?! Madness !

  2. What are the latest rumors regarding River’s pursuit of European stars formerly who played with River? I had previously heard that they were targeting both Ayala and Aimar.

  3. I read recently that Aimar was talking with a non big4 club in the Premier League. With Ayala I have not heard anything lately.

    My impression is that much of this talk from both Boca and River is just wishful thinking, and some of it is just attention seeking. Particularly in River’s case, Aguilar seems to be constantly throwing names against the wall with little real expectation that any of it will stick. He might also be trying to show Simeone that he is really attempting to sign some River alumni, when the financial reality would indicate otherwise.

  4. Ayala has said he’s staying with Zaragoza for now, although whether he actually will do, given their relegation, is debatable. It’s more likely just his way of saying he’s not on his way back to the Monumental just yet…

  5. Thanks guys.
    What is your best guess as to the what money Boca and River have available for transfers? It seems both clubs should have quite a bit, but I have no idea how much “quite a bit” actually is, come to think about it. Also, what are they paying their sub-stars for salaries (say Palermo and Ortega)?

  6. Timoteo: Boca aren’t afraid to splash, but where they get the money from no-one seems quite sure. Rodrigo Palacio is paid somewhere in the region of US$1.5 million a year, I believe, which in Argentina is an absolutely astronomical sum. There have been talks recently of them trying to compete with middle-ranking European sides for transfer fees, but they’re well aware that if they do it, they’ll have to sell at least one player and not make any other signings in a given transfer period.

    River by contrast are very heavily in debt indeed – around US$50 million last year. José María Aguilar (their president) likes to make a lot of noise about potential signings from European clubs, but they never go through. Given the fees River have commanded for players so far this decade, it’s a bit of a mystery where the money’s going. At least it is until you look at the president, and at Los Borrachos.

  7. Andrew – interesting. Another big European club are prepared to take a chance on Román? I’m surprised. But then Lazio dealt with Di Canio, so they’ve got experience of tricky customers…

  8. Yeah, Sam. I’ll believe it when it goes through. Sorry to post the link in the comments but I figured no one would believe me unless I did…

  9. Very interesting snippets about River’s financial situation. Could you maybe do an article about it, how it got so bad, why it’s so bad in light (as you said) of all their player transfers, and their considerable crowds they get. They must get quite a bit of money from their marketing? Are Los Barrachos siphening off millions? Is River being run by organized crime?

  10. Trust me I’d like to. But this is why I want to get out to Buenos Aires and do this for money – because it’s bloody difficult to get the amount of detail I’d need from here in England…

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