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Riquelme - remember him?


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Boca Juniors president Mauricio Macri has announced that the Argentine club have agreed a deal with Villarreal to take Juan Roman Riquelme on loan for the rest of the season.


The 28-year-old has suffered a dramatic fall from grace at Villarreal having seemingly lost the confidence of coach Manuel Pellegrini.


The Argentine schemer had been seen as the club's talisman and helped guide them to the semi-finals of last season's UEFA Champions League where he was widely regarded as one of the tournament's outstanding performers.


However, having returned from the World Cup, he endured a slow start to this season as both he and Villarreal struggled for form.


A 4-1 home defeat against Osasuna on 17th December proved to be the final straw for Pellegrini who has subsequently omitted Riquelme from all match-day squads since, leaving the player kicking his heels in the stands.


Villarreal president Fernando Roig has expressed his unhappiness at the player's attitude and it was expected that the South American would move on in the January transfer window.


Boca made clear their interest in re-signing a player who made his name with them, but neither club could agree on the permanent deal Riquelme desired.


In the end the move did not materialise, but the player has now relented and agreed to accept a six-month loan deal to return to his native Argentina, as confirmed by Macri.


"I am happy because we have finalised the return of Riquelme to the club," the Boca supremo stated.


Riquelme won six Argentine championship titles during his first spell with the Buenos Aires-based club before moving to Barcelona in the summer of 2002.


I can't believe what's happened with him. 28, should be at the peak of his career, once constantly linked with big clubs... and now going on loan back to Argentina. A great shame.

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he has had a bit of a row with his manager - not much more. i fully expect to see him at a top european club next season.


great little player - but not suited for the epl imo - unless it is for a team playing with one big striker - and we are not that team!

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According to Villareal fans he was just plain lazy this season and lacked commitment according to Pellegrini.When a player begins to think he is more important then his team these things can happen.


Good article about him here




And as mentioned earlier, he would be ideal for Serie A  if he got his motivation back.

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Even though I think he is a top class player I just don't think he would fit in well in the Premiership unless a team was built around him. I don't think fans in this country would have enough patience. Just look at Ballack who I think is an immense player but he is not look great at the moment.


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I'm sure he'll join a big European club in the summer. He's just going back home to his first club for 6months because he's fallen out with the management at Villareal. He's been linked with Inter and Bayern.

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