Caruso returns to Tigre; Di Zeo will be out by Christmas

Rafael Di Zeo will be free by Christmas
Rafael Di Zeo will be free by Christmas

Ricardo Caruso Lombardi confirmed on Wednesday night that he’ll be Diego Cagna’s successor at Tigre, returning to the club whom he took from Primera B into the B Nacional (third to second flight) in 2005. Not such good news from the judiciary system, though: Rafael Di Zeo, the former capo of Boca Juniors’ barra brava, La Doce, once arguably the world’s most influential football hooligan, will be released from jail on or before the 23rd December after the prison he’s held in told the judge he’s ‘ready to be re-integrated into society.’ Let’s hope they’re not wrong.

Caruso Lombardi’s most recent spell in management was with Racing, where he first saved the club from relegation but when the new season started struggled to motivate the side and – by his own admission – himself. ‘I’ve signed for one year and I’ll be presented as boss on Friday, I had to call [Juan Carlos Garbacchio, the president of Quilmes, with whom he’d also been holding talks], because the negotiations with them were at an advanced stage, but I explained to him that Tigre is my second home, and that to take charge of them in the Primera is a dream.’

Tigre’s squad are due back from their summer holidays on the 4th January, and that’s when Caruso Lombardi will take charge effectively, when the side meet up to start pre-season training in Mar Del Plata. The directors have apparently promised him four reinforcements, as well as doing all they can to keep Carlos Luna at the club. After the disappointment of last place in the Apertura, the target is simple: do better in the Clausura. The dream starts here for Ricardo Caruso Lombardi.

Meanwhile, Rafa Di Zeo is set to be released from prison after the Federal Penitentiary Service handed a report to the judge dealing with his appeal. The report states that Di Zeo ‘is suitable for reintegration into society,’ having served 2/3 of his four year, three month sentence for his part in the battle between Boca and Chacarita Juniors hooligans on the 3rd March 1999. A mobile phone and a whiskey bottle were found in Di Zeo’s cell recently, which was thought to have cost him his chance of an early release, but the board decided not to take this into account in the final analysis.

Once Di Zeo’s out the internal politics of Boca’s barra could be interesting to watch. If the same rules apply to him as have done to previous Boca hooligans who’ve been released from jail, he won’t be banned from entering La Bombonera. The internal factions have moved on since he left La Doce though, and it seems he wouldn’t now be welcome back in the barra‘s heartland on the terrace.

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