Former Argentina midfielder Juan Riquelme announces retirement
Former Argentina and Villarreal midfielder Juan Román Riquelme has announced his retirement from football. The 36-year-old attacking midfielder also played for Barcelona in Spain and Argentina side Boca Juniors in two different spells. He also won 51 caps for Argentina and scored 17 international goals.
There were reports linking him to clubs in the MLS in the United States and also rumours of him moving to Paraguay to play football. But the announcement on Sunday night confirmed that he would retire after his final spell with Argentinos Juniors.
He won the Argentine league title five times with Boca Juniors and also the Copa Libertadores three times.
My football life ends and new life starts: Riquelme
The former Argentina no.10 said on his retirement: “I have decided to no longer play football.
“Now I am just a fan. I will go and suffer in the stadium. I am very pleased with the career I had.
“I enjoyed football to the maximum. I hope the people have enjoyed it alongside me. I tried to have a good time,” he added.
Riquelme’s career took him from Boca Juniors to Barcelona where he spent three seasons. But he didn’t have an ideal career there, deployed mainly on the wings. He then moved to Villarreal where he found his form and started making an impact while also earning himself a nomination for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year award.
The Argentine returned to Boca Juniors in 2008 where he played for six seasons before joining Argentinos Juniors.
“I tried to give everything I could to fans of Boca, Argentina, Villarreal and Barcelona, in the youth teams and the full team,” he said.
“I am someone who makes decisions calmly, who thinks a lot. It’s clear now that I’ll be on holiday, I’ll have fun, enjoy time with my children.
“From now on my football life ends and a new life starts. Let’s see what it holds.”