Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
Juan Roman Riquelme: Un Grande De Verdad!
I have been following Juan Roman Riquelme since 1998; he is the best in the business. I also have seen over and over again
many tapes of Riquelme. Since the first time, Iíve seen Riquelme; I know he was destined for greatness. If Diego Armando
Maradona is the King of Argentina, I will say that the young Riquelme is the Prince of Argentina. It is unfortunate that Bielsa
and company made a ridiculous decision of not choosing the great Boca superstar for this past World Cup. I can guarantee
you that Riquelme would have pierced the English and the Swedish defense.
Aimar or not, Veron or not, Crespo or not, Gallardo or not, Riquelme is the top Argentine player at this moment. When
coaches such as: Pasarella, Menotti, Bianchi, and many others are praising this kid, then you must realize that this Riquelme is
something very special. He might not be a Maradona, but he will sure come close. For those of you who havenít seen him,
get ready to see him in Barcelona this season. This year, I will definitely be a Barca fan, the last time I was a Barca fan was
when Maradona was there. Then I became a Fiorentina fan, then a Roma fan, just because of the great Batigol.
As a player, he is a classic. As a human being, he is very humble. The Real Madrid with Figo, Roberto Carlos and company
still remember the ordeal they went through in the 2000 Intercontinental Cup against Boca Juniors conducted by the grand
master, Juan Roman Riquelme. I know that that Michel Platini stated that he had not seen Riquelme. Well, Michel, your wish
soon will come true. I know that Beckenbauer did say that he did not know much about Riquelme before the Intercontinental
Cup final 2001 Boca vs Bayern Munich. Well, Riquelme almost stole the show from the team under the direction of the
sensational goal keeper,Oliver Kahn. It will be a joy for those fans who like to see great football. I would always welcome a
Rivaldo, a Ronaldo, a Roberto Carlos, a Totti, a Crespo, and Aimar, but I will choose a Riquelme over all of them. Some of
you might think I am crazy. Well, heíll show the world what they had missed during the World Cup. For Bielsa who caused so
much pain to the Argentine fans, he must go. I will never forgive a coach who decides to leave the top South American player
out of the world's greatest tournament. Thus for that reason, Bielsa should not continue as coach of the Albiceleste.
Without Riquelme, thereís no Boca; hopefully this season wonít be a nightmare for me as a Boca fan. It is not the same
atmosphere when you donít see the Boca #10 on the field. As a matter of fact, Maradona played part of his testimonial
game with the Boca Riquelme #10. We all remember the great Maradona with the Boca #10. Ironically, it was Riquelme
who came as a replacement for Maradonaís last game in Boca. Now, again after 20 years since Maradona joined
Barcelona, Riquelme is about to bring the Nou-Camp fans on their feet. I would not mind to see Ri-Ri-Sa-Klu (Rivaldo,
Riquelme, Saviola, Kluivert) attack. That would have been a deadly attack. Let Riquelme manage the midfield, and then
Rivaldo, Saviola and Kluivert will produce the damage upfront. That will be a dream attack, but letís see what will happen
with Rivaldoís issue.
This year, after a not so great World Cup as pointed by our columnist Ciro Cerretelli who by the way will join me very soon
as a Cornell alumnus, I am looking forward to a great Champions League, Serie A, la Liga, Premier League and Futbol de
Primera in Argentina. Since 1998 to 2002, Sunday afternoon was a joy for me because I had the time to enjoy the majestic
moves of the great Juan Roman Riquelme. Like I did tell the Germans to get ready for the HuRRRicane. They thought I was
joking, but Ro-Ro destroyed Kahn with great class and composure. Well it seems that we might have another hurricane in
La Liga Ro-Ri-Ri, Roman-Riquelme-Rivaldo. Well, Barcelona should find away to keep Rivaldo in the team because the
combination Rivaldo-Riquelme will go against the Figo-Zidane of Real Madrid. The fans would have like to see that
matchup, letís hope Gaspart finds a way to bring the joy back to Nou Camp. Keep Rivaldo there, and hopefully we wonít see
a battle like the one between the two masters of Manchester United, Veron and Beckham.
For Roman, he deserves it. He gave his best to the Boca fans. He played with class and composure. Despite having been
paid a minimum salary by Boca, he always played for the fans not for the Bocaís management. He conducted his life with
great simplicity and he is well loved by the opponents even the River Plate fans praised him. There will not be another
Riquelme in Argentine football. I always think Riquelme was a better player than Aimar, somehow Bielsa managed to put a
cloud over the young talented midfielder, but this time there wonít be any more cloud since the world is about to see what
they have missed in this past World Cup. Riquelme, thanks for all those great technical moves, thanks for making the fans
happy. Welcome to Barcelona, and I wish you all the best. I count on you to bring the World Cup trophy 2006 back to
Argentina. Too bad ďBielsa ha cortado tus piernasĒ Youíve played against Kahn before, so far you are 0-1 against him, but
you will see him very soon. The whole world is waiting to see you!
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