Riquelme quits Argentina team

Boca playmaker claims he cannot work with Maradona

Riquelme: Argentina stalwart

Juan Roman Riquelme has announced that he will not play for the Argentina national team under Diego Maradona.

The Boca Juniors star cites irreconcilable differences with his country's coach as the reasoning behind his decision.

The 30-year-old has been a regular for Argentina since making his debut back in 1997, accumulating 54 caps.

However, he has been overlooked by Maradona ever since the 1986 World Cup winner agreed to take the national side's reins in November 2008.

"It seems to me that I don't have the support of the coach so while he is there we can't work together," Riquelme told Telenoche.

"I would give anything to play for Argentina and it is going to be very hard for me to watch qualifiers and the World Cup on TV.

"But I can't work with the coach. The national team is over for me."


Riquelme is said to be disappointed at an interview given by Maradona to Argentinian television, where he questioned the Boca playmaker's fitness and role in the side.

However, Maradona insists he never intended to force one of his key men out of the fold.

"Riquelme has made the wrong decision and that makes me very sad, but I won't cry over what he has decided," he told Radio Mitre.

He added on Radio La Red: "I presented a list of players that I wanted to have for the upcoming games against Venezuela and Bolivia and Riquelme was on that list.

"I don't know what Riquelme's problem is. What I have said on TV is that I need him to be at his best for the sake of the team.

"I didn't say I don't want him to play anymore. But if he thinks that, that's his problem.

"Any player that decides to leave my team will never recalled."