The recovery of defender Nicolás Valentini, affected by an illness after the match against Racing, brought relief in Boca, with four days left of training prior to the final of the Copa Libertadores against Fluminense, which will be played next Saturday from 5 p.m. at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The 21-year-old defender, because he is left-footed, would be the natural replacement for captain Marcos Rojo, who, due to being suspended, misses the most anticipated match by the entire “Boca world.”
The former defender of the Argentine national team, Estudiantes and Manchester United, was sent off against Palmeiras, in revenge for the semifinal series, which ended 1 to 1 and then “Xeneize” won on penalties (4-2). Valentini received a strong blow from Colombian forward Roger Martínez, in last Tuesday’s defeat against Racing by 2 to 1, for the Professional Football League (LPF) Cup.
The medical report reported that it was a trauma to his left leg, but the footballer’s entourage indicated that he also had a muscle contracture in his right leg.
The value of “Vikingo” Valentini is that he became the main candidate to play alongside Nicolás Figal in the final, above the Paraguayan Bruno Valdez.
The player who at the beginning of the year returned from his loan from Aldosivi, started against Deportivo Pereira in Bombonera (2-1), came on at halftime against Colo Colo in Chile (2-0), came on again at halftime against Pereira as a visitor (0-1) and started with Valdez in the last game of the group stage against Monagas (4-0).
From the round of 16 onwards, technical director Jorge Almirón put him back in Montevideo in the first leg against Nacional, along with Figal, and in the second leg he entered the 19 minutes for Marcos Rojo.
He started again in the first leg of the quarterfinals against Racing, to play the first half in the rematch in a line of five. And against Palmeiras he had 20 minutes in the first leg, and 23 minutes in the rematch at the Allianz Parque de San Pablo.
For now, Valentini was concentrated for last Saturday against Estudiantes for the League Cup, although later the coach left him off the substitute bench along with Edinson Cavani and Miguel Merentiel.
The one who still did not train with the rest of his teammates was the striker Darío Benedetto, who left after 9 minutes against the “Academia” (he was replaced by Merentiel) due to a strain in his right adductor, and then the medical report reported that it was just a contracture.
It is then expected that “Pipa” will join training these days and be available to the coaching staff for Saturday, even though his conditions are not optimal, since he will not want to miss such an important match.
The work diagram of the Boca team indicates that today and tomorrow they will train at the Ezeiza facility. After that practice, at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow he will travel by charter flight to Brazil, since by Conmebol regulations he has to be in Rio de Janeiro before 8:00 p.m.
The footballers will stay at the Hilton Barra hotel, located in the Tijuca area, one of the most residential places in the city of Rio de Janeiro and far from the Maracaná stadium. On Thursday and Friday morning, Boca will train at the Moacyr Barbosa facility, Vasco da Gama, which is located 4 kilometers (five minutes by car from the hotel) from where the Argentine delegation will be.
On Friday afternoon, the Boca team will recognize the Maracaná playing field
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