Boca Juniors Star Juan Roman Riquelme Sets Return Date

John Tilghman Correspondent IOctober 1, 2010

Juan Roman Riquelme will return October 17th against Huracan.
Juan Roman Riquelme will return October 17th against Huracan.

Boca Juniors is almost always in the top places fighting for important trophies, but as of late, the storied club has fallen on difficult times.

After a 16th-place finish last season, Los Xeneizes are currently sitting in 12th position, nine points behind leaders Estudiantes de La Plata. 

New coach Claudio Borghi made a number of new signings in the transfer window to solidify last tournament's awful defense and secured the signature of superstar Juan Roman Riquelme for four more years, but the former Barcelona and Villareal star ended last season injured and was forced to have surgery, leaving the club without its talismanic playmaker. 

With no Riquelme in the lineup, Boca has had some good results, but for the most part the team has missed its creative spark—most notably in last week's 1-0 defeat to Estudiantes, when the club from La Boca barely threatened the opposition's goal. 

This week, however, there was finally good news for Borghi and the many fans of Boca worldwide, as Riquelme finally began practicing formally with his teammates. 

He has been ruled out for this Sunday's match-up against Lanus in the historic La Bombonera and could be on the bench a week later when Boca travels to Victoria to face Tigre, but it is expected the Roman will make his official return to football on October 17 during the 11th round of matches, when Boca hosts Huracan. 

Coincidentally, Huracan was the last team Riquelme faced, when Boca fell 2-1 at home to El Globoon May 9. 

Now, Riquelme will hope to gain revenge of Huracan and resurrect Boca's poor start to the campaign before the ever important showdown with River Plate on November 7. 

It may be too late for Boca to win the title, but with Riquelme there is a chance they could qualify for the Copa Libertadores, South America's version of the Champions Leaguea competition Boca has won six times and will be desperate to win its seventh.