River Plate may have just won the title after a long wait but manager Diego Simeone already knows he’s still got to find a few missing pieces in the jigsaw to get the side playing the way he’d like. One very important piece he already had is now out of the equation, though: his passport issues finally resolved, goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo returns to Lazio. Marseille full back Juan Krupoviesa, meanwhile, is back at Boca after an unhappy six months in France.
In spite of his twelve-month loan back to River from Lazio being over now, and thus his not actually having a say in the matter, fans still pleaded with Carrizo to stay with River longer, even as he was preparing to board his flight on Sunday to Rome. For his part, saying that the only thing that he feels he’s missing so far in a River shirt is the Copa Libertadores, Juampi says he’ll be back one day, God willing. But he had some words of advice for his now ex manager, Simeone.
‘If you ask me, I’ve always said that when I leave, I’d like Juan Marcelo [Ojeda] or Daniel [Vega] to have their chance,’ Carrizo told Olé before boarding his plane, when asked what he thought of rumours linking River to Atlético de Madrid’s Leo Franco, Getafe’s Oscar Ustari and Estudiantes’ Mario Andújar. ‘When I returned to River, those two had to go and sit on the subs’ bench, and not everyone would have taken it as well as they did… I hope Simeone gives Ojeda the opportunity, because when he’s called on to make a save, he does it fantastically.’
Krupoviesa is heading in the opposite direction from Carrizo, from Europe back to Buenos Aires, after an unhappy six months in Spain. Having started his stay well by making ‘friends’ with a Spanish lady in Paris (‘The voice of the Spaniards in the GPS who guided my car everywhere I wanted to go!’) things quickly became less pleasant when he was sent off – harshly – on his debut. After playing regularly early on, he went to the bench when the first-choice left backreturned.
‘It was a good experience,’ Krupoviesa said on his unveiling at the Casa Amarilla. ‘I don’t regret anything, any more than the fact that today I’m starting a new phase in my career, because when this opportunity was presented to me I was 28 years old and I didn’t think I’d get another one. I’ve never had the chance to play in a big league in Europe… [but] it’s always nice to return to a big club like Boca.’
Krupoviesa faces stiff competition for his place from Fabián Monzón, who’s emerged in the elder player’s absence to nail down a regular place for Boca during the Clausura and their Copa Libertadores campaign. Krupoviesa knows Monzón, having seen him in the reserves before leaving in January. Now he returns to his former club with the aim of playing regularly again, and the former reserve will be aiming to keep him out of the side a little longer.