Saturday, March 21, 2009

Riquelme and Maradona

It seems strange to me that Boca Juniors fans seem to have taken on their former idol, Maradona, now national coach of Argentina, in a very strange controversy with Boca captain Juan Román Riquelme. Apparently Maradona, in an interview, said that if Riquelme didn't play quicker, he couldn't use him on the Argentinean national team. Apparently this was too much for Mr. Riquelme, who promptly announced that he would not return to the Argentinean national team, and refused to take Maradona's phone calls as he was trying to reach him to reconsider. At a later club-match in Boca, Boca-fans turned against the national coach.

I don't believe that what Maradona said was awful: it has been heard before that coaches use the press in order to push players to play better. And as elegant a player Riquelme is, he is certainly not quick, something that may not fit with the style Maradona may be wanting to play on the national team, using the speed and technique of small quick offensive players - Mr. Riquelme in my view does not fit in there. And since Mr. Riquelme seems to be so arrogant and self-centered that he could create split on the Argentinean national side, I thin Maradona would do best by not calling this guy any longer, but just use the many better Argentinean players for the World Cup qualifiers.

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