Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RIQUELME to announce come-back

Not official yet.

Rumour has it that Juan Román RIQUELME will shortly announce his desire to make an international come-back and declare himself available for the next Copa America.

Alfio BASILE is to unveil a list of 22 players that will travel to Venezuela on Thursday. So Roman's idea would be to make that announcement before the list is known and therefore have chances to make it to the team, if BASILE decides so.

We are talking about the most controversial player (perhaps together with VERON) that ever graced our national team in the last few years. Some managers loved him, some hated him...BASILE is identified with those who like the way he plays and would welcome him back.

Not for nothing, his play-maker for his first game in charge in his second tenure for Argentina was Juan Roman RIQUELME (0-3 against Brazil in London).

So...I'll be the first one to say it and I'll accept all the criticism I might get after saying this...

I think RIQUELME wants to play for Argentina just to try and attract the interest of an European team and see if he can secure a move away from Villarreal. His future in Boca is jeopardized by his very expensive salary and Villarreal manager, Manuel PELLEGRINI, would not be keen on having him again.

Even though, and I said it many times, I think he is a terrific player, I don't think he wants to come back just because he wants to play for Argentina again. I think he is not committed like others in our team.

So again...RIQUELME is out there, with another controversy and he is turning me into a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde situation. Making my two sides fight between them.


johnny said...

Ok Seba, you conspiracy theorist you !! Hey, I would not be surprised if you are right. And, as I have said before, I am a big Boca fan, and it is hard not to like Riquelme because of my allegiance to Boca, BUT, I won't be upset if Coco opts not to include him for the Copa. It's probably not worth the risk, and if Riquelme does not play well, Coco will be in BIG trouble with the media and the fans. If I were Coco I would avoid that possibility. Taking Riquelme has too many possible downsides. My two cents.

Soyderiver said...

No way! He quits in the game and he quit on our Team! The key here is team. I believe his actions indicate that he thinks he is above the team.

Another thing to consider in Messi's development. IF we want him to be our enganche, then he needs tournament time. He wont get time at his club in that position.

Also Messi can win the game for you at any moment. can riquelme?

ajay s said...

Umm what? Have you forgotten Riquelme so quickly? You'd rather have Veron? Veron is 10% of what Riquelme is. Riquelme has been back with Boca for 6 months - and he is already slated to win the South American player of the year - in 6 months, not to forget player of the tournament for the Libertadores.

Lets make something very clear, there is no fluidity, possession of creativity without Riquelme. Aimar and Messi can turn it on in the last quarter of opponents pitch, but Riquelme dictates and controls play from midfield all the way to the penalty area.

Soyderiver said...

riquelme only play well when given space. He is a not a physical player. When he's on he is world class.

The real problem is that no one will pull him out if he plays bad. So then we are down to ten players.

I'll rather have someone with half his talent, if he plays hard all the time. riquelme does not fill that role. Not then, not now, not ever.

Anonymous said...

So I love watching Riquelme play and as a Boca fan I pretty much owe him for getting us to the finals of Copa Libetadores and hopefully winning it. HOWEVER, that said, I would be upset if he got a spot on the national team. Conspiracy theories aside (though Seba brings up an excellent point with the idea that he is doing this to gain exposure and a transfer to a big club), I consider it unfair to all the other national players who despite difficulties and setbacks have worked hard to gain a spot on the team and never gave up hope. If he was serious about wanting to be a part of the national team then he should have not retired or at least come back much sooner.

With regards to Riquelme's creativity over our other options, again Boca fans owe him a lot this year but we should also remember that Riquelme has the tendency of disappearing from some games . None of our enganches are perfect and all have qualities that could benefit the team. Therefore I would rather have players that made the committment from the start.


johnny said...

Well put by Argentinafan. As regards Riquelme's supposed habit of disappearing in some games: Is it not possible that Roman gets "taken out" of his game sometimes by the opposition ? Doesn't that happen to every player from time to time ? Unfortunately when it happens to Riquelme it is so glaring because of the type of player he is. I would say that he gets frustrated fast which adds to the problem, but do you Riquelme bashers really think he "tanks it". I do agree with Soyderiver that he needs room, and if he does not find a way to get room he can struggle. Sometimes that room must be created by actions taken by his teammates. Hey, just thinking out loud here. Either way, I hope he fillets Gremio tomorrow with those laser passes and his mighty smarts !

Soyderiver said...

Well i guess maybe "tank" is a bit strong. I think he just doesn't have the mental strength to persevere through attrition. I think he is too much of a finesse player which is great against weak opposition but not so good against stronger physical teams.

He has great field vision and great passing skills but I don't feel his one on one skills are good enough.

Messi on the other hand has great individual moves but his passing and field vision could use more developing.

I fall back to something said many times, you cant teach speed and some people have it and others dont.

Messi has it. diego has it. I'm not sure that riquelme does.

johnny said...

Soyderiver-nice points, though I would give a little more credit for some 1:1 skills and scorong skills. But "persevering against attrition" might be on the mark. I hope he can prove to be better in the future. And yes, he ain't speedy.:)

Anonymous said...


I agree that he does get shut down by the opposition for some games but there are also some where he just doesn't perform at the same level. Take the friendly against Angola just before the WC. It was not his best game and you couldn't really blame it on the Angolans (is that correct?).
Still overall, despite his quiet games, I consider him world class and never meant to imply that he "tanks." Again, I am very grateful for his performance for Boca this season.


Soyderiver said...

I agree with both of you, Johnny and argentinafan, except for the boca part. :)

I think we need to decide who is our enganche for the next world cup. Once that decision is made, then he should be our enganche for all matches.

That being said, my vote goes for Messi and Aimar.

Rio said...

First of all, Riquelme returning doesn't mean he'll be the enganche. He played more like a SS this year with Boca, and Banega did most of the distributions from behind Roman. Banega looked more like an enganche.

Roman does disappear from time to time, but most of those cases he was marked by mutiple people and could not get himself opened. That's a good thing in the current NT as teams are marking carlito and messi too, Roman will either free up or he'll draw packing off those 2, either way some one will open up.

about this conspiracy people are talking about. This is the NT, no one goes onto the NT thinking about their future professional careers, it's like going to war for your country. He might have thought about the career benefits, but I'm sure Roman wants back to win title for Argentina.

Seba said...

Rio...I wish I could think the same.

Now it looks like RIQUELME and BASILE had everything agreed off the record and what we are seeing is just a media game in which RIQUELME have already announce his desire to come back to play for Argentina JUST THE DAY BEFORE BASILE UNVEILS THE LIST!


Do you think RIQUELME would risk to make an announcement like this just the day before the list is announced and then be ignored by BASILE?

Players don't do that these days...

The wait will soon be over and we will know our 22 Albicelestes for Copa America.


I'm already feeling the hype!

I want this bloody cup to start!


Anonymous said...


I saw the article in Ole.com where it basically says what you said. That he hasn't announced anything yet because he is concentrating on Copa Libertadores but that Basile has pretty much already added his name to the list. Riquelme won't say anything until tomorrow.

They did also mention that if he comes back that he will probably be the "enganche" since that position is what is causing Basile the most problems.

Again, I'm a little frustrated at this last minute "drama" and still think it's unfair to whoever will get left off the list who has stayed faithful to the Albicelestes from the start. Riquelme should talk to Pinola hehe.

Still, if he is on the team it won't change my support at all. I trust that Basile knows what he is doing and I know that whoever we take will do their best. Everyone is hungry for a major international victory for the senior team.

"Vamos, vamos, Argentina,
vamos vamos a ganar...
que esta barra quilombera
no te deja
no te deja de alentar..."

-argentinafan :)

Anonymous said...

it is great for all argentina fans... i think we r need riquelme... Messi is too young for playmaker... and unexperienced... But we r need playmaker... Riq is too ald in WC2010... I think Messi's style is not playmaker... i hope Sosa... what do u think about sosa?

johnny said...

I'm with Seba, let's get started ! As for Sosa, I like him, but no place for him at present. I wanted to respond to Rio's talk of Ever Banega as Boca's "enganche". Unless I misunderstand the term "enganche" Banega does not appear to play that role. Banega is a very good defensive midfielder who handles the ball from his own end up to just past midfield and then distributes to Riquelme, or someone else. In fact, it has been my perception that if he gets too far upfield, he usually makes mistakes and loses possession. Anyway, he is a fantastic talent, tough, scrappy and smart. But, very limited skills on offense, for the moment. Ok, enough Boca intrusions !

Anonymous said...

Banega is more of a defensive midfielder but his defensive abilities are trumped in comparison to Mascherano's and Battaglia's.

johnny said...

I totally agree with Mascherano, less so about Battaglia. Banega kept Battaglia on the bench most of the year, though Battaglia has had a long recovery from an injury. Banega also severely limited Orteman's playing time. I wasn't trying to talk him up for a place on the seleccion.

Rio said...

Hi johnny. you are absolutely correct about Banega's position, and I was by no means trying to claim him being an enganche. Rather using Banega as a reference to bring up the point that Roman didn't play as an enganche for Boca this past season, more of a Deep-lying forward.

Also I think Riquelme's return has some side benefits. It'll lower Veron's ranking in the pack for example :D The psychological effect of Roman on his teammates cannot be ignored either, perhaps the precarious timing of the annoucement has something to do with what basile wants in team chemistry.

Anonymous said...

Yeh he broke our heart by announcing his retirement for no good reason and yes it will be a risk to put him in the team as he has been offical out of the national team but i guess he is a risk worth taking and he deserves his last chance...he is a great player and i am sure he will prove this time and i think losing in germany was just the sheer streak of bad luck that has continued to haunt our great team from the time the great diego left...so i hope we will be watching him....
Vamos Argentina