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.
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:
Mirror writer Alex Richards underlined Riquelme's famous attitude:
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:
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.