After hearing for the last couple of days that Juan Román Riquelme had agreed terms with Tigre and just had to let the club work out a deal Boca Juniors were satisfied with before playing for the club he’s always supported, Monday night brought an entirely different revelation. After Boca’s 2-1 loss to River Plate in the third and final summer friendly superclásico last week, Riquelme apparently called Carlos Bianchi, Boca’s manager, and told him he wanted to return to La Bombonera. Bianchi wants him, but won’t pressure things, and it’s now up to the directors to work out a deal everyone’s happy with before the registration window closes on Thursday night.
So having courted the team he supports, and seemingly largely ignored Argentinos Juniors, the team he first played for, Riquelme now seems set for a big and entirely unsurprising move back to Boca after eight months away. And if you wonder why I say it’s entirely unsurprising, I’d point you towards my words for ESPNFC when Riquelme first announced he was leaving;
My initial thought is to remember that he’s already retired from the national team twice, and said earlier this season that he’d consider it if he was called up again, so he’s not necessarily gone for good…
Boca’s directors have until now been silent on the issue. It seems unlikely that they personally want Riquelme back, but the desires of the fans, who after all vote for the president and his directors, could well force their hand. The dressing room is apparently divided on the issue.
Tigre and their directors are, quite understandably, apoplectic. ‘Why the fuck did he come and meet with us so many times if all he wanted was to stay at Boca?’ one of their top men asked Olé (who sadly decline to name him on their site).
For my part, you’ll see nothing more about this on HEGS until the registration window closes on Thursday night, though I probably will be mentioning it again on Twitter. Until then, I’ll maintain hope that Riquelme might give us all something big to laugh at and announce a move to River Plate, who as I said on last week’s Hand Of Pod are looking for a playmaker, and would be a fantastic destination to annoy Boca president Daniel Angelici, which is clearly what JRR wants to do.