Riquelme confirms Boca exit
By Football News
Juan Roman Riquelme reiterated on Friday that he will never play for Boca Juniors again after having his contract suspended by the club.
Riquelme's last outing for Boca was their Copa Libertadores defeat at the hands of Corinthians.
Boca president Daniel Angelici confirmed that Riquelme has had his contract suspended, meaning that he is now officially on unpaid leave and free to sign for any team outside of Argentina.
"I've left the club and I'm happy with my decision. My last match was a Copa Libertadores final," the former Barcelona and Villarreal playmaker said.
Riquelme also hit back at Diego Maradona who said the decision to walk away from the Primera Division side was 'treason'.
"I'm not interested in whatever that guy (Maradona) says. I won three and I lost that last one which I also wanted to win. I'm a man who always keeps his word. I have fulfilled all my dreams as a player," Riquelme said.
"From now on I'll just be a Boca fan and I'll wish them well. Now it's time for Leandro Paredes to shine. He is 18 years old and is a great player. I don't want to stay and stand in his way.
"I feel I play better than before. So if you have a team, just let me know and we'll kick a ball about."
Current Barcelona star Andres Iniesta revealed this week that he remembers the time he spent with Riquelme fondly,.
The pair were at Camp Nou during Louis van Gaal's time in charge of the club, and although they only played together for one year, the Argentine left a lasting impression on the Spain international.
"It is always sad when a world-class player such as Riquelme is no longer in the pitch. If he decides to retire, football has lost one of the best," Iniesta said.
"I was lucky to have met him in my early years at Barcelona. After so many games, after so many good times we enjoyed and we've seen, I can say that I am delighted to have been his team-mate."
And the former Villarreal star was quick to return the compliment.
"Andres is a good guy. I was there when he made his debut at Barcelona when he was only 16. I used to hang around with him a lot during my time there," he said.
"I have a lot of admiration for him. I have a lot of admiration for him."