With Messi applauded and the memory of Maradona, Riquelme had his great farewell at La Bombonera

Nine years after his last game, Román finally closed his cycle as a player in “the patio of his house”, as he calls the Boca stadium. A night full of stars where the xeneizes fans remembered the glory years and applauded the champions of the Scaleneta.

Juan roman riquelme He had the farewell he always dreamed of. In the patio of his house, as he once called the Bombonera, and surrounded by friends. His former teammates at Boca de Bianchi who won everything, old partners in the Argentine National Team, Coco Basile, the Viceroy himself, Néstor Pekerman and a stellar presence like Lionel Messi. Names? Many, the majority stuck in the hearts of the 55,000 fans who filled the temple of Brandsen 805, others not so much. And a closing to pure emotion, with mention of Maradona.

The preview was nuanced with musical shows, a lot of posters from the new sponsor of the shirt and the encouragement of the people, who came early as if it were a game for points. In the previous one, while the photos of who would be in the afternoon of Román followed one another, The unknown was knowing if Martín Palermo could get from Sarandí to La Boca to make the party complete, after the match that his Platense beat Arsenal. It couldn’t be, it would have been the icing on the cake.

The game was an excuse, the chance to meet idols from the past and present. Lionel Scaloni received applause every time he touched the ball. Ángel Di María was applauded even above Messi when his name was announced. Leandro Paredes played at home and had the pleasure of putting on the shirt that saw him born for a while. Pablo Aimar was also given a round of applause. AND different was the fate of Javier Saviolathe only former River that aroused a whistle from the stands.

One of the thousands of flags with the image of Riquelme and his remembered Topo Gigio. Photo: Boca press

On a night marked by nostalgia, the fans once again chanted the names that filled the club’s windows with glory, such as Oscar Córdoba, Chicho Serna and Rodrigo Palacio, among many others. And there was time to shout for Blas Armando Giunta and Sergio “Manteca” Martínez, symbols of Boca in the nineties.

Chelo Delgado and Clemente Rodríguez overflowed on the left, waiting for the passes from 10. Sebastián Battaglia and Hugo Ibarra returned to the Bombonera for the first time after their steps as coaches of the first team. And Fernando Gago scored a goal, but with the Argentina shirt.

But It was the late night of Riquelme, who put on the blue and gold 10 again after nine years, now as a former soccer player. Román played for Boca against Argentina, led by Messi, and the ball ran faster than the players, as was logical, with some boys paying dearly over time. At the end, Agustín Riquelme, the son of Román, entered.

The game had a separate duel in the stands, between La 12 and Messi. Immediately there was a request for forgiveness from Leo, clarifying that “in La Boca Román is the greatest” and the rest of the stadium got into the confusion of not knowing which song to dedicate to the captain of the National Team. That is why the “Fideeeeeo” thundered better, when Di María was appointed. But with the passing of the minutes, from the xeneize tribune it was insisted that Messi put on “the one from Boca”, a request that hit again and again against the indeclinable correction of Rosario.

Riquelme with Messi and one of the many hugs that were given at night. Photo: Boca Press

During the match, Riquelme received, endured, touched and had the pleasure of scoring a goal, with a beautiful right-footed shot close to the post that could be the envy of any of the forwards of the current squad led by Jorge Almirón. It was played seriously, without games or jokes typical of this type of friendly encounter.

Despite the fact that the average age widely favored the youth and not so much for the Argentine National Team, the match ended up with the result 5-3 for Riquelme’s team, which had the support of the public. Yes indeed, Messi scored a goal against Mono Navarro Montoya and La Bombonera shouted it as if it were her own. One last nod to Leo, who seemed to have fun running to one side of the prominence that Boca’s 10 monopolized.

Until the final whistle came, to give rise to a speech by Román that focused on the presence of the three coaches who came to pay homage. A whole message from 10.

Riquelme recalled that Pekerman trained him as a child and wished him happiness. Basile was highlighted by his looks and his way of being. AND He made Bianchi guilty that the people of Boca think that winning a Libertadores is something simpleprovoking the laughter of the Viceroy and the second great ovation of the night from the fans to the historic DT.

Carlos Bianchi at Riquelme’s farewell

“I dreamed of being a footballer when I was little, I wanted to be Beto Márcico, Maradona, Manteca Martínez, and later I had them as teammates”, recalled Román, with his entire family watching him in a box. And he had one last gesture for Diego, that Diego who in his farewell game more than 20 years ago and on this same stage wore Román’s: now it was Riquelme who put on Maradona’s 10.

Thus the night faded away, with a last thank you to Messi and the invitation to blow out the candles with him on a cake in the colors of Boca, on the occasion of the birthday they share every June 24. And the fireworks that lit up La Boca.

Roman even had the pleasure of blowing out the candles with Messi, on a Boca cake. Photo: Boca press

“Juan Román Riquelme played on this ground,” said a banner leaning next to the Bombonera playing field. Football has to be grateful.

2023-06-26 00:58:34
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