History - 1976 a 1978

THE UNFORGETTABLE 'TOTO' LORENZO

1976

When Juan Carlos Lorenzo arrived in 1976 and indicated the reinforcements he wanted, all were astonished.

The ‘Loco' Hugo Gatti, Francisco Sá, Rubén Suñé, Carlos Veglio and Mastrángelo were already of a certain age, but time was to prove 'Toto' right with his demand for experienced players. A great goal by 'Chino' Benítez to Huracán, a candidate for the title, in River, was crucial to Boca’s conquest of the Metropolitano, but the icing on the cake was without doubt the Nacional. It was won against River in the only occasion in which they faced each other in a final, that took place at the Racing stadium. Rubén Suñé quickly tapped a free kick and put the ball in the corner, while the River goalkeeper, Ubaldo Fillol, was still setting the wall, and that earned Boca the title. Elderly fans still tell their children and grandchildren about that memorable night in Avellaneda. It was unforgettable.

THE FIRST LIBERTADORES

1977

In the mist and cold of a magical night on 14 September, in Montevideo, in the mythical Centenario Stadium that hosted the first World Cup, a legend was born.

The 'Loco' Gatti dived to his left and saved Vanderley’s penalty. Boca were crowned continental champions for the first time in their history. Their opponents were Brazilian team Cruzeiro, and after a 1-0 home win each it was necessary to play a third game, ended 0-0 after extra time and resolved on penalties. This was a dream come true after the 1963 defeat in the final against Pele’s Santos. Boca had eliminated River, Defensor, Peñarol, Libertad and Deportivo Cali. They reached the final against Cruzeiro, the strong defending champions, who counted on several national players and had never lost. The game at La Bombonera ended 1-0 thanks to a Carlo Veglio’s goal, but the defeat in Belo Horizonte lead to a playoff. On that occasion, Boca played in white and Gatti became an immortal idol thanks to that tenth penalty. It was the first international star and many more would come.

THE WORLD AT ITS FEET

1978

Few people had trust in Boca for the final game of the 1977 Intercontinental Cup, a clash that was played the following season in two legs.

The 2-2 draw at home with Borussia Mönchengladbach was a dull and the Europeans were favourites for the second game. In Germany however, 'Toto' Lorenzo fielded a squad that tactically disoriented the hosts to the point that with just 35 minutes gone the odds had changed. Felman, Mastrángelo and Salinas scored the goals on that cold night of August 1, 1978. Back in Argentina, Boca qualified directly to the semis of the Libertadores as defending champions and eliminated River and then Cruzeiro. They played another final this time against Colombian Deportivo Cali. After drawing away, they won 4-0 playing brilliantly and securing success for the second time. That was 'Toto' Lorenzo’s last title with Boca, a club where he left an indelible mark.