Riquelme retires

2015-01-26 15:20
Juan Román Riquelme (File)

Buenos Aires - Juan Roman Riquelme, who made 51 appearances for Argentina's national team and also played in Spain for Villarreal and Barcelona, has announced his retirement.

The 36-year-old Riquelme, who returned to Argentina in 2008 to join his former team Boca Juniors, played primarily as an attacking midfielder and scored 17 goals for the national team.

A great passer and long-range shooter, he played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and led Argentina to gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"It's a special day for me," Riquelme said. "Because I have decided to no longer play football."

Riquelme left Boca Juniors in June of 2014 and played a few matches with second-division Argentinos Juniors. That club was promoted back to the first division at the end of last year, and Riquelme said part of his retirement hinged on not wanting to face his beloved Boca.

"I can't play against Boca," he said. "I have a special feeling. In this country, I can't wear another shirt."

In his career with Boca, the "Xeneize" — as the team is known — won 11 titles including three Copa Libertadores titles, the top club trophy in Latin America.

Riquelme moved to Barcelona in 2002, but had limited success there. He was eventually loaned to smaller Spanish club Villarreal, where he lifted the team in 2006 to the final four of the Champions League.

Riquelme seemed to move effortlessly on the field, often coming up with a clever pass. He was also lethal on set pieces from all over the pitch.

"I tried to give my all to the clubs I played for, to the national team," he said. "I'm happy when I look back for all I have accomplished. Now that football is over, I'll have to learn some new things."

Read more on:    soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.