Bochini with all the cups he won with Independiente.
|Full name||Ricardo Enrique Bochini|
|Date of birth||25 January 1954|
|Place of birth||Zárate, Argentina|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Belgrano de Zárate|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Ricardo Enrique Bochini (born 25 January 1954 in Zárate, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine former professional footballer, who played as an attacking midfielder. He is nicknamed El Bocha. He spent his almost twenty years of his professional career at club Independiente, becoming one of the most emblematic players and the greatest idol in the history of the club.
Bochini won a total of 14 titles with Independiente, four Primera División championships and ten international competitions, apart from the 1986 FIFA World Cup with the Argentina national team. Bochini was a childhood idol of Diego Maradona.
As a kid, Bochini was wanted by Campana's club Villa Dálmine but started playing football for Belgrano, a local club from his home city. At age of 15, he went to Buenos Aires with his father to try to join San Lorenzo de Almagro and later with Boca Juniors. He was eventually accepted for the youth system of Independiente in 1971.
He made his professional debut in the Argentine Primera División on 25 June 1972, when Independiente's coach, Pedro Dellacha sent him onto the field in the 74th minute of a match that they lost 1–0 to River Plate.
|“||On Saturday morning (the day prior to the match) I walked over the senior squad's dress room and saw my name written on the chalkboard. I was cited for the match v. River Plate. I could not believe that, sincerely. I had always dreamed about my debut in Primera, but I was still very young.||”|
|— Bochini remembering his debut in Primera División|
By that time Independiente had already won the 1972 Copa Libertadores, which allowed them to play the Intercontinental Cup that same year but Bochini was not part of the team that lost the tie to Ajax. He gained more participation the following year and was an important member of the team, alongside Daniel Bertoni. The team won the 1973 Copa Libertadores and the 1973 Intercontinental Cup. Bochini scored the only goal in the latter against Juventus.
The club managed to defend the Copa Libertadores title in 1974. São Paulo had won the first match of the final at Pacaembu stadium and Independiente the second one at their stadium (Bochini scored the first goal). The final had to go on a third match at the national stadium of Chile, where Ricardo Pavoni scored the only goal.
Independiente was to play the Intercontinental Cup in 1974 and 1975 against Bayern Munich but they declined both times. Atlético de Madrid, the 1973–74 European Cup's runners-up, played instead of them in 1974 and won the title. The Intercontinental Cup was not held in 1975.
In 1975 Bochini was conscripted into Military service and managed to also play football, but was not able to perform as well as desired. Nevertheless, he also won the 1975 Copa Libertadores with Independiente. It was Bochini's third title in a row and the club's fourth, being the only club to achieve this so far.
After finishing in the second position of the Metropolitano Championship in 1977, Bochini won his first national championship with Independiente that same year. Bochini scored the last goal in the final against Talleres de Córdoba that gave them the title.
Bochini repeated the title with Independiente in 1978 winning the final against River Plate. After four years without any title, Independiente signed Jorge Burruchaga and José Percudani, who formed a celebrated offense with Bochini that helped the team win the 1983 Metropolitano Championship, the 1984 Copa Libertadores and the 1984 Intercontinental Cup against Liverpool.
On 5 May 1991 Bochini played his last professional match against Estudiantes de La Plata. He played a total of 634 league matches, scoring 97 goals. He is the player with the most appearances in the Argentine Primera División after goalkeeper Hugo Gatti, who played in 775 league matches.
Bochini played again in the national team when Carlos Bilardo succeeded Menotti as coach, but lost his place to younger players such as Diego Maradona. Nevertheless, he was part of the squad that won the 1986 FIFA World Cup but played only a few minutes in the semi-finals against Belgium replacing Jorge Burruchaga.
Although he was not a prolific goalscorer, he was one of the best playmakers of the 1980s, often making assists for teammates to score, due to his vision and accurate passing. Even after he retired, the expression pase bochinesco ("bochinesque pass") is used to refer to a precise pass made to a forward to leave him one on one against the goalie, bypassing the opponent's defenders. Bochini became a master of la pausa, the moment when a number 10, poised to deliver a pass, delays a fraction, waiting for the player he is looking to feed to reach the ideal position.
In 1991, three months after his retirement, Bochini was assigned as Independiente's manager together with Carlos Fren. The couple coached only the 1991 Apertura tournament that the team ended in the eleventh position.
|Argentina national team|
- Argentine Primera División (4): Nacional 1977, Nacional 1978, Metropolitano 1983, 1988–89
- Copa Libertadores (5): 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1984
- Copa Interamericana (3): 1973, 1974, 1976
- Intercontinental Cup (2): 1973, 1984
- Footballer of the Year of Argentina: 1983
- South American Player of the Year: Bronze award 1983
- South American Team of the Year: 1989
- Bochini: "Me gusta el estilo de juego de Milito", El Gráfico, 31 Aug 2016
- Bochini's biography at Inside Football.
- Interview at El Gráfico. June 2009 (in Spanish)
- Bochini's debut at Télam. 26 June 20012 (in Spanish)
- El debut en Primera de Ricardo Bochini, Argentine Football Association website
- 1972 Intercontinental Cup statistics at FIFA.com
- 1973 Copa Libertadores statistics at RSSSF.
- 1973 Intercontinental Cup statistics Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine at FIFA.com
- 1974 Copa Libertadores statistics at RSSSF.
- 1974 Intercontinental Cup statistics Archived 4 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine at FIFA.com
- Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats p.109. U of Nebraska Press. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- 1975 Copa Libertadores statistics at RSSSF.
- Records and statistics of the Copa Libertadores.
- Copa Interamericana statistics at RSSSF.
- 1977 National championship final at Taringa!.
- 1975 Copa Libertadores statistics at RSSSF.
- 1984 Intercontinental Cup statistics at FIFA.com
- 1988–89 Argentine Primera División statistics Archived 17 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine at RSSSF.
- Statistics of Bochini at Futbol Pasion. (in Spanish)
- "The Great Creators". FIFA. Retrieved 14 October 2012
- "Pele edges Eusebio as Santos defend title". FIFA. Retrieved 14 October 2012
- "Jonny se avivó y, con un kick bochinesco, habilitó a Sackey" at Clarín. 28 September 2007 (in Spanish)
- "Un pase bochinesco de Lionel Messi habilitó a Di María quien convirtió el segundo gol argentino" Archived 6 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Perfil (in Spanish)
- Ricardo Bochini's long wait to become Argentina's legend of la pausa
- Ricardo Bochini en el Torneo Argentino C 2007 at Laquimera (in Spanish)
- Bochini's street at La Nación. (in Spanish)
- Torneo Super 8 at La Nación. (in Spanish)
- Bochini's new position in Independiente at La Nación. (in Spanish)
- "South American Team of the Year". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
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