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South American Soccer: Riquelme leaving Boca

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Juan Roman Riquelme always said he would like to retire in a Boca Juniors jersey, but last night's 3-1 aggregate defeat in the Copa Libertadores final against Brazilian side Corinthians was surely not the way he wanted to go.

Shortly after Boca's ouster, the 34-year-old attacking midfielder and former Argentine international informed gathered reporters of his decision to leave the club effective immediately.

"This afternoon, I spoke with the club president and informed him that I would not continue," Riquelme said."I love this club and I will always be grateful to this club. I feel empty. I just don't think I have anything more to give to this club. I can't play at half. I am a fan and I care deeply about the fans of this club."

Though the three time Copa Libertadores champion lamented this final defeat, he achieved a great deal of success with the team that gave him his professional start, winning two Apertura titles since his comeback with Boca.

For Boca's part, team president Daniel Angelici hasn't given up on retaining his star player. "I hope we can reverse that decision," he told Argentine outlet Ole before adding that he was "hurt we didn't win the Copa and also by Riquelme's decision."

The future seems uncertain for the former Barcelona/Villarreal man but it lies in his hands.

Think Riquelme will retire as a player for Boca? Or will he entertain one more venture overseas? Will an MLS side take a chance on the electric but often enigmatic midfielder? Would you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think JRR still has game. That said….

    Given the type of league that MLS is (hot weather, very physical, lots of running), he’d need a unique setup to be successful. The ideal arrangement for him would be the setup that Nowak played with Christian Gomez (2 holding mids, both of them: Olsen and Carroll) hard running, ball-winning, dirty-work maniacs. B/c Gomez never won awards for his work-rate, ability to cover ground or defend.

    On the right team…that played a 5 or 6 man midfield or had 2 hard working D-mids, with JRR being allowed to play deep and dissect defenses with incisive thru-balls, he’d be great. But for the vast majority of MLS teams, he’d be a liability. That’s just the kind of league MLS is. That’s why some players go to the Premership and stink (Veron) yet are still outstanding players…they don’t fit the style of play or the degree of physicality.

  2. There’s no way he won’t at least be linked to a few MLS sides. He’s exactly the kind of player American clubs lust after- a fading star that still has name recognition.

  3. You must not have seen him play at all during the Copa Libertadores. He still plays like he’s 25 years old.

    I think any MLS team which would even consider signing Frank Lampard would do a great disservice to its fans by not attempting to go after Riquelme. He still has plenty to offer even at age 34.


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