The Never-Ending Story

So you thought that with another round of World Cup qualifiers over, we wouldn’t be hearing anything about Juan Román Riquelme for a while, eh? Well, you thought wrong. Argentina will have to wait a while to put behind them the memories of last night’s defeat, but one major member of their squad could soon be a much happier man. Yes, that most interminable of transfer sagas is back – but this time it just might have an ending that approaches some sort of finality.

Villarreal, the Spanish club Riquelme spends his time not playing for, announced on Wednesday that they’ve reached an agreement with Boca Juniors for his transfer – not a loan but an actual sale of a world-class player enjoying wonderful form, from a European club to a South American one. Now there’s a turn-up for the books.

Boca will be paying a fee of around €9 million. Of this, Olé reckon €6 million will go to the player, with €3 million to Villarreal. I can’t say why that is, because they don’t explain and Villarreal’s own website doesn’t appear to feature anything on the story. The sticking point could be Román’s wages, and how prepared he is to meet what Boca can afford to offer him, and for that reason Boca don’t want to get too excited about it all right now. But in the coming hours, Riquelme’s footballing future could at long last be resolved.


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