Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jonathan Wilson: Juan Román Riquelme and Boca have the final word – just for a change

Oops! Wrong Riquelme...

Juan Román Riquelme never changes. He is the eternal question at the heart of Argentinian football, the solemn-faced representative of a romanticised former age constantly rebuking the present for not being quite as graceful, quite as thoughtful, as he is. He can be frustrating. He can drift around the field like a bored ghost. He is politically manipulative. Martín Palermo admitted his decision to retire last season was in part prompted by the fact that he could not stand occupying the same dressing room as Riquelme any longer. Riquelme's complaints about the pragmatic style Boca Juniors tend towards under Julio César Falcioni almost prompted the coach to quit in February, despite having ended a three-year trophy drought by winning the Apertura three months earlier.

And yet he remains a wonderful footballer capable of turning games in the blink of an eye.

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