Juan Roman Riquelme Retires from Football: Full Details, Comment and Reaction

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2015

Boca Juniors' Juan Roman Riquelme gestures during an Argentina's league soccer match against Quilmes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia)
Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

Former Argentina, Boca Juniors and Villarreal magician Juan Roman Riquelme has called time on his illustrious footballing career.

The 36-year-old revealed his decision on Sunday, telling ESPN Argentina (h/t ESPN FC): 

I've made the decision to not play football anymore. I have been clear since after [earning] promotion with Argentinos. I was clear that to continue playing it had to be something that interested me. I thought it best to take it calmly and communicate that I am not going to play anymore.

CASTELLO DE LA PLANA, SPAIN - APRIL 04:  Roman Riquelme (L) of Villarreal shoots past Luis Figo of Inter Milan during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Villarreal and Inter Milan at the Madrigal stadium on April 4, 2006 in C
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Riquelme is famed for his tremendous range of passing and abilities on set pieces. His career was littered with outrageous goals and assists, both at club level and on the international stage.

His accolades include five Argentine Primera Division titles and three Copa Libertadores wins with Boca, not to mention a 2008 Olympic gold medal with the national team. He enjoyed a distinguished career in Spain, representing Barcelona and Villarreal, the latter of which he starred for in the Champions League.

A rundown of Riquelme's quality can be seen below:

Former United States forward Taylor Twellman offered his thoughts on the classy midfielder:

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

When I knew I wasn't very good at soccer....2007 vs Argentina in Copa America, Riquelme played the 1st half with his shoes untied. #Legend

Mirror writer Alex Richards underlined Riquelme's famous attitude:

Alex Richards @AA_Richards

The end of Juan Roman Riquelme (on a football pitch). Moody, obstroculous, divisive...but my word, at times he was simply beautiful.

While Riquelme was only limited to winning the Intertoto Cup in Europe, football specialist Peter Hall suggested that the Argentinian star's loyalty deserves to be recognised:

Peter Hall @PeteHall86

Disappointing reaction. Yes Riquelme didn't achieve great deal in Europe, but chose to spend most of his career in homeland. That a crime?

Many will remember watching a classic playmaker, the type of star who snuggles in alongside Juninho Pernambucano as one of South America's most underrated world-class exports. Riquelme played with natural style and possessed the vision to split defences with his forward-thinking through balls, a vital ingredient to every side he represented.

He is the type of player who many will fondly recall for years to come. Argentina has produced a plethora of noteworthy No. 10s over the years, and as the curtain comes down for Riquelme, he deserves to be recognised as one of the best.


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