Cavani move ruled out by Boca president

By Sports Desk April 02, 2020

Boca Juniors will not be signing Edinson Cavani when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires because the Superliga champions feel he is out of their reach financially, according to the club's president.

Cavani's seven-year stay with PSG looks set to be coming to an end, with the 33-year-old striker's deal in Paris due to expire in June.

The Uruguay international has enjoyed a wonderful spell at the Parc des Princes, winning 18 domestic trophies and becoming the club's all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But the writing was on the wall for Cavani when PSG signed Mauro Icardi from Inter on an initial loan last year – the former Napoli star subsequently falling out of favour, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar also ahead of him in the pecking order.

Boca emerged as a potential next destination after club adviser Jorge Bermudez hinted at their interest and the player's apparent desire to represent the Xeneizes, but president Jorge Amor Ameal has since discounted their chances.

"We are proud that a player like Cavani says he wants to wear our shirt, but our economic reality doesn't match with his," Ameal is quoted as saying to Radio Splendid by EFE.

"Of course, no one is going to argue that Cavani isn't a great player, but we have to think more about our existing players and believe in them."

Cavani had been strongly linked with a move to Atletico Madrid in January, but a transfer failed to materialise.

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    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, describing the Argentina legend as "simply immense".

    Napoli great Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

    Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's passing.

    The former attacking midfielder, who was the player of the tournament when he captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986, is one of the all-time greats and Infantino says he deserves "eternal gratitude" for what he brought to football. 

    Infantino told FIFA's official website: "Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment. 

    "Our silence, our tears, our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time.

    "I always said it and I can just repeat it now, more convinced than ever: What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique. 

    "It is, as he is, simply immense. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that, for having amazed us with his incredible talent and yes, for having been so unique. For having been Diego Armando Maradona, a legend, a hero, and a man.

    "Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales. 

    "Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you."

    Maradona won the Serie A title twice during the best years of his club career at Napoli, while he also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys.

    He embarked on a coaching career after retiring, including a spell in charge of his country.

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    Football has produced few more divisive figures than Diego Maradona.

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    The abiding image of Maradona for most likely stems from the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and England.

    For so many in England, he will forever be remembered for arguably the most controversial goal in the history of football, which saw the diminutive Maradona somehow rise above the comparatively towering figure of Peter Shilton and divert a sliced clearance from Steve Hodge into the empty net with his hand.

    But that act of what can at best be considered deceit did not take away from the majesty of his ultimately decisive second goal, dubbed the Goal of the Century, with the balletic grace with which he weaved past the helpless England defenders before rounding Shilton and slotting home the defining memory of Maradona for his adoring fans in his home country and scores of fans around the world.

    That game perhaps encapsulated the man known as El Pibe de Oro (The Golden Boy). As England striker Gary Lineker, who scored the goal overshadowed by Maradona's brace at Estadio Azteca, said in a tweet paying tribute following news of his death, the Albiceleste legend led a "blessed but troubled life".

    Raised in a poor family in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Maradona's blessings were evident from an early age. At just eight years old, his promise was discovered by a scout, Francisco Cornejo, and he was signed to the youth team of Argentinos Juniors.

    "He did things that I have never seen anyone else do," Cornejo, who died in 2008, later said of Maradona.

    Maradona made his Argentinos debut 10 days before turning 16 and marked it in fitting fashion by nutmegging an opponent within minutes of entering the pitch.

    One hundred and sixteen goals in 166 games for Argentinos followed and resulted in Maradona receiving a dream move to Boca Juniors, though his spell at La Bombonera yielded only one league title and was marked by a difficult relationship with coach Silvio Marzolini before he moved to Barcelona in a world-record transfer in 1982.

    Barca did not see Maradona at his best at the 1982 World Cup in Spain that preceded his debut for the Blaugrana, yet the impact he had on his cohorts at Camp Nou was stark.

    "He had complete mastery of the ball," former team-mate Lobo Carrasco remarked. "When Maradona ran with the ball or dribbled through the defence, he seemed to have the ball tied to his boots."

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    It was perhaps no surprise that the pinnacle of his international career coincided with that of his club career at Napoli, for whom Maradona will forever be an icon.

    After being named player of the tournament at the '86 World Cup, Maradona inspired Napoli to their first Serie A title and triumph in the Coppa Italia. UEFA Cup glory followed in 1989 prior to a second league title a year later.

    Napoli's Stadio San Paolo was the scene of glory for Argentina in a World Cup semi-final win over Italy, in which Maradona scored the ultimately decisive penalty in the shoot-out, though he could not ensure a successful title defence as West Germany prevailed in the final.

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    He returned to Argentina by signing for Newell's Old Boys after a turbulent spell with Sevilla, with his international career ended in the wake of a positive test for ephedrine doping during the 1994 World Cup that resulted in him being sent home from the United States.

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    His post-playing career also saw a string of brief coaching tenures, which included him leading Argentina to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, where they were thumped 4-0 by Germany. Maradona made sure his departure was fittingly acrimonious, levelling accusations of betrayal at the national team's hierarchy.

    Maradona had seemingly found some stability in his coaching career at Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata when he was admitted to hospital this month having recently renewed his contract through the 2020-21 season.

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