Wednesday, June 13, 2007

RIQUELME: the best possible farewell from La Bombonera

Juan Román RIQUELME was the center of attention for a packed Bombonera stadium for the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final (The South American version of the Champions League).
On loan from Villarreal, the former Argentina play-maker was set to say goodbye for the second time to the supporters of the most popular club from our country.

Against Boca Juniors were Gremio, from Brazil, and the Buenos Aires side was too much for them. Very much so, because of Juan Román RIQUELME.

He sent the ball to the box for Martín PALERMO (in off-side position) to miss incredibly, only to see his horrible shot going straight into the path of Rodrigo PALACIO who was quick to react and make it 1-0 in 14 minutes.

In the second half, RIQUELME created a chance when he was fouled just outside the Gremio area. After a clever touch by Pablo LEDESMA to neutralise the presence of the Gremio wall, RIQUELME sent a screamer from 25 meters and made it 2-0 before starting to run like a mad man while almost 60.000 people (with a certain Diego Armando MARADONA included) paid tribute to his undeniable talent.

Later on, and just to make sure Boca will travel to Porto Alegre with almost two hands in the trophy, RIQUELME showed some flashes of brilliance to drive Gremio's back line crazy. Now you see it. Now you don't. Boom! Another precious shot. But this time, Argentine keeper Sebastián SAJA was great to react and deflect the ball. Unlucky for him, a Boca player found the ball, sent it to the box, Pablo LEDESMA won the aerial battle with SAJA and a Gremio defender headed toward his own goal to make it 3-0.

I couldn't think of a better farewell from the Bombonera for RIQUELME.
And I can only keep dreaming of him playing for Argentina just a 10% of how he plays for Boca!
The story in Germany 2006 would have been very very different...


Anand said...

I came very early in the morning to the office to check the results. Man, what can i say looking at the first photo on ur post makes me cry. Can i see the full highlights somewhere in you tube or metacafe? if you find it please please post it...

Anonymous said...

Seba, very nice post on Román.

alwin said...

Im happy for RIQUELME to have acheived this and lead BOCA AHEAD,but im sure RIQUELME contributed more that the percentage you suggested for Argentina. He is not to be blamed for the 2006 exit and i know you are not directly blaming him, we just would not want to go back there again.


johnny said...

Seba-Thanks for the Boca/Riquelme story ! Great match last night and a much deserved victory for the Xeneizes ! Riquelme continues to sparkle. I suppose it is a foregone conclusion that he is gone from Boca, though there has been talk that he is only negoitiating with Macri through the press. Of course Villarreal has alot to say about matters as well. My fantasy is that he would be at Boca forever. I think being a big fish in a little bit smaller pond suits him better. By the way, in addition to the usual presence of Maradona, Francis Ford Coppola was in attendance last night as well. Viva Boca !

Seba said...

Was COPPOLA at La Bombonera because he is researching as he will shoot another film for the Godfather saga after seeing how MACRI runs everything in Boca/Buenos Aires?

Just asking! ;)

And Alwin...don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we've lost the World Cup because of RIQUELME. By no means!

I'm just saying that I've never seen him displaying the incredible passion and determination he shows with the Boca shirt while playing for Argentina.

And how I wish things would have been different! I consider him to be a sensational player. One that I admire deeply.

But there is also a "but" when I have to right something about him.

johnny said...

Ah, Seba, you skeptical fellow ! I am hoping that if Macri becomes mayor of Buenos Aires, he can embezzle enough money to keep Riquelme at Boca !

linda said...

Thanks for an excellent report.

Oh, Roman. I've been following his progress since leaving Villarreal in the hopes that playing where he's always felt most at home would right his head. And it has, thankfully. My eyes started getting suspiciously moist watching him celebrate that second goal. There's life in him yet, but where will he go now? I fully believe that Boca's the place he's meant to be at, but economic realities and all that.

Anand said...

Hey one question to pple who know Roman better...having seen him at Argentina over years before we out siders got a glance at him in Europe. Is money a big decision maker for him? Being the moody and sentimental guy who has no big endorsement, hes under no pressure to earn as im sure he mustve earned a fortune by now for him and his family. Will he be ready for a lower salary an stay at Boca?
I have a feeling he dont like big teams but rather like a sadist wish to taunt the big ones (like Inter) with his small team. I am just not able to read the personality completely. Is he also just money monger like many football players (no negativity intended) or an artist and a nerd who can turn down money for his personal whims and fancies?

johnny said...

Maybe somebody who has followed Roman longer than I can weigh in on his personality. Plus, Seba-tell me if I am wrong, but if Villarreal gets a better offer than what Boca makes, isn't Riquelme obligated to go to the club that makes the offer. He is not a real free agent. This loan thing can be a little complicated, eh ?

Ese Ignacio said...

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