As we always say, the '10' is a special number and not everyone can use it. Usually this number was given to the player who made the difference, that was different with just walking the court. That one that falls in love with an amateur from the first minute. This is the story of Juan Román Riquelme, the last romantic.
He began to attract the attention of everyone in his debut, but he began to captivate us with the Argentine youth team back in 1997, winning a South American U-20 championship and months later becoming the U-20 world champion in Malaysia where he was a key player. to get the trophy up.
With the albiceleste played two America Cups, a Confederations Cup, the World Cup Germany 2006 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games where he would get the gold medal. When you review these tournaments we are left with the feeling of having seen little with the colors of Argentina. He deserved more, but the memories he left us are very nice.
Let's fly in this story, let's go to Spain. First to Barcelona, where one of the biggest clubs in the world was waiting for him with open arms. But, to the regret of the Catalans, his coach was Louis van Gaal, who used him in a different position; and despite playing only one season, he fell in love with all the Barcelona fans and some of his teammates, like one Andrés Iniesta.
But his trip through Spanish lands took him to Villarreal and there he deployed all his football. Despite using the number '8' on his back, his game was '10' and led the modest "yellow submarine" to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. They won the Intertoto Cup twice and finished third in the Spanish league. Riquelme felt at home, beautiful goals and not to mention the assists. He was awarded in two seasons as the top scorer of the Spanish league, the best player and the most artistic player in the Spanish championship. His romance was total, but his love was in Argentina.
His house, his club, his team, his only love was and will be Boca Juniors. There is not much to say about this fanatical devotion for him; as well as his to every sympathizer of the xeneixe club. And the reason is very clear: 5 local championships, an Argentine Cup, 3 Copa Libertadores, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 South American Recopa are the titles that he left in the showcase. 388 games, 92 goals and more than 100 assists; the numbers that place him among the 6 players with the most games in club history. Idol maximum team of his life where he scored goals of all colors, where he left plays that will be repeated over and over again every time you talk about Roman.
There in the Bombonera was the greatest romance that there was in recent years. And I'm not talking about the fans and him; but of Riquelme and the ball. That one that caressed every time he had to have her near, the one that tried in the best way, the one that kissed every time he had the chance.
He did not forget anything and wanted to thank the club that gave him his first opportunity in some way and so he returned to Argentinos Juniors to take him to the first division. Today the final pages of this story tell us that he decided to stop professional football, that we will not see him anymore in a court. But I can assure you that such a love, between this romantic and football, never ends. And if anyone wants to do the test and pass very close to the Bombonera, be quiet and you can surely hear "Riquelme, Riquelme, Riquelme!"