Schelotto comes clean on Boca Juniors coaching rumors

MLSsoccer.com exclusive: Crew star says he hasn't been contacted

Columbus
Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto wants to set the record straight.

Media
in Argentina have been reporting for some time now that Boca Juniors are
looking to Schelotto to become their new head coach. He would be asked to bring
back the dignity and respect to a club that has fallen to 18th place of the
20-team Argentine Clausura.

Schelotto
says that despite the reports, he has yet to enter into any discussions to take
over the team.

“I
have not spoken with the people at Boca Juniors,” Schelotto told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “They have not called
me, but I read the newspapers and I know [Boca’s interest in hiring me as
coach] a reality. Right now I am thinking like a player. I am a Columbus Crew
player. I am totally dedicated to the Crew and I am focused on the next game
against Dallas.”

Boca
Juniors President Jorge Ameal is said to be traveling to Columbus in the coming
days to make a formal offer to the Bombonera legend.

“I
don’t know anything about this,” Schelotto said. “I want to repeat that I have
not spoken to Boca Juniors officials. I can’t speak to anything except for what
I read in the press. They could be true but they haven’t told me anything and I
can only say that.”

El Mellizo (The Twin), as he is
popularly known in Argentina, admitted that his contract with the Crew runs
through the end of the 2010 season. He also confirmed that there does not exist
any clause in his MLS contract that would allow him to take the head coaching
job at Boca should it be offered to him.

The
question then becomes whether he would accept a head-coaching position should
it eventually be offered to him.

“Right
now I can’t make a decision on a possible return to Argentina because I have
not been offered that chance,” Schelotto said. “I can’t speak about
hypotheticals. I want to repeat: My mind is focused on the game against Dallas
and I continue to think like a soccer player. The day I retire, I plan to be a
coach, and at that point I welcome the opportunity to lead Boca. But right now
I am a player.”

The
Argentine media have consistently made mention of his relationship with another
Boca Juniors star, Juan Román Riquelme. Some insist that should Schelotto ever
take charge of Boca, Riquelme would be shown the door.

“I’ve
heard and read about that,” he said. “But I can’t give an opinion on what other
people think or what others write or say. I have not said anything about [my
relationship with Riquelme] and I don’t want to do so publicly. Not just about
him but about any other payer. Because then people draw conclusions and
opinions that are not real. So I’d rather not speak about any specific player.”

On
the MLS front, Schelotto believes that the continuity of the squad from their
2008 championship season bodes well for this year.

“The
2009 season only finished badly because we were eliminated from the playoffs
right away,” he said. “We won the Supporters’ Shield and that was good. The
team has the same base from 2008, and we are confident that we are going to be
back in the top position.”