October 29, 2015 / 8:39 PM / in 2 years

Trophy-winning Argentine coaches to quit this year

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - San Lorenzo’s Edgardo Bauza and Diego Cocca of Racing Club, who coached their teams to major titles last year, said on Thursday they were quitting their jobs when the Argentine season ends next month.

Head coach of Argentina's San Lorenzo Edgardo Bauza gestures during a Copa Libertadores soccer match against Uruguay's Danubio in Montevideo, February 19, 2015. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Bauza steered the Saints to their first South American Libertadores Cup victory in 2014 before Cocca’s Racing won their first domestic league title in 13 years.

“We have decided with my coaching staff to end this cycle and leave this club. It’s the best thing for the club and the squad,” Bauza, who was in charge for two years, told a news conference.

“We will stay in charge for the last two matches of the local (league) tournament and carry on until the end of the year if we need to qualify for (next year’s) Libertadores.”

San Lorenzo, who were succeeded this year as South American champions by River Plate, and Racing both saw their hopes ended of winning the 2015 Argentine title in recent weeks.

Boca Juniors are favorites and only Rosario Central have a chance of catching them.

“I have acquired great experience at this club,” Cocca said of his time with Racing. “I don’t want a long term future plan... I need to look for new challenges.

“I want to make it clear my resignation is not because of money or a conflict. We are happy and grateful to everyone,” Cocca, who has been at Racing for 18 months, told another news conference.

Racing vice-president Miguel Jimenez said Cocca wanted to coach in Europe.

“He told us that at the end of the year he’s going to Europe with his whole family,” he said.

If Boca, who have a five-point lead over Central, beat Tigre at La Bombonera on Sunday they will win the title with a match to spare.

If they drop points and Central win at Banfield, the race will go to the wire the following weekend when Central are at home to Boca.

Boca will meet Central twice in five days as they also face each other next Wednesday in the final of the knockout Copa Argentina competition on neutral territory at the Mario Kempes stadium in Cordoba.

Reporting by Luis Ampuero; Writing by Rex Gowar; editing by Toby Davis

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