Boca’s victory over Racing for the semifinals of the League Cup received comments of all kinds. But most of them focused on the game of the Xeneize team. The fact is, Battaglia’s men were dominated by Gago’s tactical device practically during the ninety minutes of the match, and the penalties put them in the definition for next Sunday against Tigre, in Córdoba. “this is mouth“, The DT responded when they told him that his team had not kicked the goal in the entire match. And he assured that his team knows how to play those games. The Cali Izquierdoz explained that “it had to happen as it was.” And Varela’s words were in the same direction: “We are in another final because we are Boca, the biggest thing there is“.
Two days after the match, with the pass to the final in his pocket, Juan Román Riquelme lent himself to chat about Boca’s criticized and commented victory. And he started like this: “For us it is important to reach the final. I’m not crazy, when the team doesn’t play well I admit it. But I don’t feel the same euphoria when he does it right. And Boca has been playing well. With Always Ready he clearly won. With Defense and Justice, which has a coach who does a great job and has been here for a long time, he played a great game. Against Tigre, who is the other finalist, he played another great match.”
In his second paragraph, Román spoke of the repercussion that, according to him, means being in charge of Boca. And he pointed to the media: “We have been in the club for two and a half years and We know that all Boca’s achievements have to be made small and all problems have to be made big. It’s part of the game”.
“We always want to go to the end and we are happy to play another game this Sunday.“, he said in Team F, the classic of the 19 hours of ESPN that got the exclusive. But he also referred to the game on Saturday: “Racing played counterattack, but it was a flat game, they didn’t beat us. They were smart, they waited for us and they came out of counterattack. The goal that Chancalay missed was against, after a loss by Varela. We have to be intelligent and, if we want to play in the Copa Libertadores, we have to know that we have to jump half the field. River does this well too, he plays you on the counterattack“, Roman insisted in his analysis of the meeting.
“Racing was not interested in going out playing, it was all the time a ball to Fabbra’s back: seventy meters and run. I said that Fabbra was attentive and played like what he is: the best left back in the country. When we no longer have it, we will recognize it,” Riquelme defined.
The journalist Diego Monroig asked him how he sees that he plays and what kind of team Xeneize was on the field. True to his style, JR dunked himself, thought unhurriedly, and replied: “We see the team calmly. For two and a half years the team has been competing well. We have been lucky enough to win once and now we are in the final again. It is clear that Argentine football is very difficult, but hearing that Boca is the worst player… because, from Monday to Friday he is the one who plays the worst: Boca should be last, fighting the relegation table. Afterwards, they are always the same ones who play well, but they should be in the final. Tigre is in the end because he has done things well, I have no doubts. And we are enjoying it,” Román said ironically.
At the end of the interview, after a question from Bichi Fuertes that pointed to his feelings as president of Boca, Riquelme got into the subject alone Sebastián Villa who was again accused of gender violencealthough this time an assassination attempt was added: “We have arrived at the club and we have nothing but words of gratitude. He has been two and a half years and has never thrown himself on a stretcher, nothing has ever hurt him and he has not stopped training one day. As a professional, with that boy, we have to take our hats off. Then, what happens off the pitch is another matter. It’s wonderful to have a player who in two and a half years doesn’t miss a single training session. He is an athlete and he looks calm and his growth depends only on him.”
It is worth clarifying that Riquelme had been listing the individualities of his players one by one, going through Pol Fernández, Salvio and even Advíncula. But he decided to give explicit support to the Colombian.
How Roman sees Boca’s Game
Continuing with the team’s questionable game, Román said: “We are very happy with everyone. we want to play better. We are growing. It is good to play important games every three four games. It’s good that our players get used to those games. The fan is very excited. I stopped playing eight years ago. in this time I had never felt like putting on shorts. The day on the pitch against Lanús I said they were crazy. I haven’t heard the fans sing so much in a long time. La Bombonera is beautiful when the fans start singing.”
“Before I suffered more than now. Always with Sebastián, when we go to penalties, I am confident that we will do well. I understand that luck is on one side. I always have faith, it’s a game. You win, you lose, you draw. Today I can do nothing but have faith. And the boys are getting used to these moments. That makes you grow as a group. To reach a final no matter what, at some point you have to suffer,” said JR.
Was he lucky on penalties? “A little and a little. Benedetto’s hits the post and goes in. Alcaraz’s was a great goal. Look at Argentinos-Tigre, it goes out by an inch. It’s kicking well, the opposing goalkeeper has virtues, and luck plays for one side or the other. The penalty is a responsibility, they are going to make mistakes. When the players assume that responsibility, we have to thank them”.
Against Lanús they made me want to put on my shorts
“Eight years ago I stopped playing football and I hadn’t wanted to put on my shorts. But the day Boca played against Lanús was something wonderful. I hadn’t heard them sing so much in a long time, I have to thank them and I have to ask them to always do it that way. It made me want to put on my shorts. The bombonera is beautiful when the fans start singing. It seemed like those days when it rains and people sing because they’re getting wet. It was incredible, wonderful, Boca’s fans are incredible. Tomorrow our stadium will surely be full and hopefully the boys will enjoy it and have a good game”.
I was happier when I won the elections than when we beat Real Madrid
“I’m happier than before because the fans made me return to the club. I used to enter the field because the coach decided. But now I’m back because they chose me. The Boca fan is crazy, they love me too much. I’m a Boca fan. Boca just like them. I love this club just like them. And now it’s their club. They decided to have it here and, in 18 months, they’re going to do it again. “For the first time it was shown that the club belongs to the fans and they will decide. I hope they make me stay much longer. We have been here for 2 and a half years, every day flies by. The Boca fan is happy, he trusts us a lot and they should know that we are going to take great care of the club, we love it, we spend all day here. Forty-two thousand went to vote. The next one must be fifty thousand. The day we beat Real Madrid, with my teammates, we reached the top. But the day I won the election I was even happier, because the fans chose me.”
On the hierarchy and the times of the players
“We have players of great quality, but we take things calmly. We knew that Darío came from Spain and was playing little, but he is giving us joy, he competes to the fullest. He is very happy at the club. Romero was in Paraguay without playing and Salvio he’s improving, after the knee injury… it’s not easy to injure his knee and listen to it on TV, in four months he’ll be back. The five can hide it, a defender too, because he gets behind and the stands don’t notice to that. But, when it comes to Salvio, it’s going to take a little longer because he wants to dribble. He’s feeling better and it makes me very happy. But we still need to say that we’re a great team”.
“Varela dejenlo tranquil”
“I am going to say something that is strange. Madrid is in the final, Liverpool in the final. The only 5 who does everything well is Busquets, who confused football. When he appeared we thought that the 5 must have a good pass. We forgot that before it was the ten that made you play. Now you say that the five has a hard time, but there is only one, unique and unrepeatable Busquets. Varela is great, but you have to give him time like Vázquez, Molina and many other boys. We have the obligation to take care of him. Not kill him when they play a bad game or take them to heaven with a good one. Soccer is changing: Casemiro is five, and he is one of those who have always scored, relieved, cut the game. To Varela leave him alone”
Roman and modern football
“I do not criticize any system, I tell what happens with the boys in our club. They do not understand small things. At the end we say: ‘Champion, you have to score a goal’. We are going to try to teach them to do it, to have a Barros Schelotto or a Delgado. Today the boys copy the outsiders. But there is only one Guardiola, only one Busquets. But it bores me when the goalkeeper touches it more than the defenders, I prefer that the 10 touches it, that the 100 touches it times like the pass in Bolivia and Salvio’s penalty. Like with defense in Ramírez’s goal. In the Lower Leagues it’s costing us, they don’t understand the minimum things. Soccer is diagonal forward and backward. To run, the same, everything diagonally. I like to play that way.”
What happens with Riquelme’s farewell party
“I was doing it, but then the Boca fan decided that I should return to the club. I’m enjoying it, seeing if we have the chance to do it in December… let’s see if after the World Cup we can do it. I think it would be nice to close that moment I’m a little scared to go back on the pitch. It’s been so long since I’ve done it… When I see so many people, maybe I feel like I’ve never played. But I’m happy where I’m assigned. The fans, happy, trust us They have to know that we are going to take care of the club. In the last elections there were 42,000, in these there will be 55,000. We are the biggest, we are crazy. We are going to be 55,000 for the first time, it is shown that the The club belongs to the fans. They decide. They made me come back. I hope they make me stay here much longer”.