BUENOS AIRES, July 25 (Reuters) - Controversial coach Ricardo La Volpe, who led Mexico at the World Cup, said he has turned down an offer to coach Boca Juniors, the most popular club in his native Argentina.
Boca directors had lined up the gruff former goalkeeper as a possible replacement for Alfio Basile, who has been offered the job as coach of Argentina.
'I said I couldn't take over a team one week before the start of the championship,' La Volpe told reporters after meeting Boca president Mauricio Macri.
'I'm here and I want to coach Boca, because it's one of the world's great (football) institutions.
'But then you start thinking, analysing things in the cold light of day and realising where you are.'
'I told them that I haven't worked in Argentina for 26 years,' he said. 'I don't want to fool anyone.'
La Volpe led Mexico to the second round at the World Cup, where they lost 2-1 to Argentina in extra time.
His contract expired at the end of the World Cup although there has been no official confirmation from either La Volpe or the Mexican federation about his leaving the job.
Similarly, Basile has not officially left Boca or taken over Argentina.
La Volpe, third-choice goalkeeper in Argentina's 1978 World Cup squad, finished his playing career in Mexico and has spent his entire coaching career there.
A studious tactician, his four-year stint with Mexico was littered with controversy.
He clashed with the local media, included two foreign-born players plus his son-in-law in Mexico's World Cup squad and left out Cuauhtemoc Blanco, widely regarded as Mexico's most gifted player.