|What's my name?|
Boca lost 2-0 in the second leg of South America’s Champions League final on Wednesday night – courtesy of a brace by Emerson – to go down 3-1 on aggregate.
While the Brazilian side was celebrating their first-ever success in the tournament, doubts were immediately being cast on the 34 year-old’s future at La Bombonera. And after discussions, Riquelme, regarded by some as the last genuine number 10, has announced a surprise departure from the club, saying he has nothing left to give to Boca. Riquelme’s decision to leave the club followed talks with Boca president Daniel Angelici yesterday, during which the player’s future was discussed.
Speaking to reporters yesterday Riquelme said: “This afternoon, I spoke with the president and informed him that I would not continue. I am very grateful to the club and the team, I know I am, but I have nothing left to give the club. I’m empty.”
“The relationship I share with Boca is great, I’m a fan of this club but now I have reached the end of the road,” he added. “Now I just want to go home, have a barbecue with my friends, see my children and greet them. All I ask is for forgiveness from my child that I could not win the cup again.”
Riquelme then hinted he would take a break from football for the foreseeable future saying he was exhausted, and was simply looking forward to spending time with family and friends.
“I now need to go home and be with my family and friends,” Riquelme said. “If my friends want to see me and discuss where I will play next, I will do so on my games console but I cannot play any more,” he continued.
Riquelme made his debut for Boca way back in November 1996, aged 18, and is considered one of the club’s all-time greats. In all, he inspired Boca to three Copa Libertadores titles – in 2000, 2001 and 2007.
His career is checkered with amazing highs and dramatic lows. Discarded by Barcelona, Riquelme went on to be the cornerstone of Villareal’s most successful era, leading to the Yellow Submarine to the Uefa Champions League semi-finals in 2006.
With Argentina, Riquelme played 51 times, scoring 17 goals, from the time of his debut in 1997 to his retirement in March 2009 following a disagree with then coach Diego Maradona.
Since his comeback to Boca in 2008 he led the club to two Apertura titles, scoring 29 goals in league 153 appearances in this spell.