Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Riquelme Says No to Maradona - Drops out of the National Team

Today Juan Roman Riquelme, the quintessential #10 (play-maker) for Argentina's national team decided to drop out of the national team for the second time due to irreconcilable differences with Maradona. It appears that Riquelme heard critical comments from Maradona about his current playing form and what he expected from him for a successful team. Riquelme most likely saw the writing on the wall and felt Maradona was not going to be very supportive of him. Like all great fighters he decided to go on his own terms. This doesn't come as a surprise for me since Maradona has consistently told all prospective players that they need to be on top of their game, as well as, in excellent physical condition to be called up and/or make the first team. Riquleme doesn't seem to fit Maradona's vision of a younger, faster, and hungrier team that can capitalize on its flair and creativity with Messi taking on a more important role. It will be sad to see Riquelme gone because he still is an exceptional player with unique skills and style - Till this day no one can hold on to a ball like Riquelme.

See a compilation of Riquelme in action on Youtube

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