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Palermo filled with World Cup nostalgia

By Football News



Argentina legend Martin Palermo says the best football memory he has is being involved in the 2010 World Cup squad.

The 38-year-old hung up his boots in 2011 after more than 500 league appearances with Estudiantes, Villarreal, Real Betis and most notably Boca Juniors, where he won six league titles as well as two Copa Libertadores crowns.

The one-time South American Player of the Year revealed that despite being selected for the Argentina squad for the World Cup in South Africa, there were also some unsavoury moments, including his well-documented rivalry with Juan Roman Riquelme.

"The most important memory in my career is the World Cup in South Africa," Palermo told Cadena Cope.

"Diego Maradona gave me the opportunity to be there and be involved. I'll take that as the image of my football life.

"Not everything was beautiful during my time in Argentina, when I played for Boca with Roman Riquelme. I prefer his clarity, his vision, his quality. He led Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League. He is a player who made his mark to the Boca fans.

"But we are not all equal and we don't all think in the same way, but I always put the group first rather than the particular issues I had with Roman."

Palermo also spoke about his time at Boca, revealing that playing in their derby against River Plate was his favourite encounter.

"I have many nicknames but I prefer the one I got from Carlos Bianchi, 'El Optimista del gol'.

"It stays with me, every day, every training session. I went to bed thinking about what goals I could score in the game the next day."

"I liked playing for Estudiantes, but playing in a Boca-River (derby) is the most beautiful in the world."