Maradona on Riquelme’s return

Here’s the latest episode in this ongoing soap opera.

Maradona spoke with Radio Del Plata yesterday and said the following:

“I don’t know why Julio (Grondona) said that about Riquelme because when he (Riquelme) refused to come to the training facility, Grondona told me “make do with what you have” and I said ” I’ll make do with what I have, what else can I do”

“With the decision made one cannot do anything.”

“This now goes beyond not wanting to come here. There are other players that I had to put on the team instead of Riquelme and I now have a comittment with those players.”

“Riquelme will have to convince the team first and then me, as to why he didn’t come and take the risks with us.”

“I’m not inside Riquelme’s head. Whatever he wants to do or respond is his problem, he’s a big boy.”

“But I do have alot of years in football and the issue here is explaining to his teammates why he declined to be here.”

“Julio said what he said and has many years in football to know how to manage these situations. But Julio does not have player gatherings and what we talk about within the team, he does not manage that.”

“There are many things that we, the players, have that we like and others that we do not like and it will have to be discussed.”

Strong words from Maradona and he couldn’t be any clearer.

It’s hard to imagine Riquelme apologizing & giving an explanation to Maradona and his former teammates as to why he abandonded them during the most difficult time in the WC qualifying campaign.

Riquelme is refusing to talk about the national team and these latest verbal jabs by Maradona towards Riquelme might put an end to any possibility that Riquelme might reconsider returning to the national team.

4 Responses to Maradona on Riquelme’s return

  1. Jack Tilghman says:

    I agree with your thoughts on the team. I think it is sad how stubborn Maradona is, and he will never player certain players, or drop others. In an ideal world, I would like to line up like this:
    GK Andujar
    RB Zanetti CB Garay CB Gonzalo Rodriguez LB Insua

    DM Mascherano (c) DM Cambiaso

    RW Messi CAM Riquelme LW Aguero/Di Maria

    CF Higuain
    That would be very similar to the team from the olympics, and I think it would get the best out of Messi, as he is used to cutting in from the right at Barcelona. However, Maradona will most likely not call up Higuain or Cambiaso or reconcile with Roman, and it seems very unlikely he will drop Heinze or Demichellis. I honestly do not see how anything can change if Maradona does not call up the FORM players. I think it is worth noting, that Tevez was mainly a sub for Man U this year, and Aguero did not hit the form he did the season before. Despite this, those two were always starters for Maradona b/c Kun is his son in law, and he likes Tevez b/c they come from similar backgrounds and both played for Boca. Gago is another player who was not in good form this season for Madrid, while Cambiaso was epic for Inter, but Gago continues to get called up. Everyone in the world of football knows Heinze is rubbish except Maradona. I hope something can change, but I’m not hopeful

  2. pintadoazulblanco says:

    The backline without a doubt needs a shakeup.

    I totally agree with you about Heinze, his time with the national team has long passed and as you said everyone seems to know it except Maradona.

    Cambiasso was in outstanding form with Inter this season and would be a much better choice than Jonas Gutierrez on the left side of the midfield but Maradona will probably turn a blind eye to him as well. It’s a real pity.

    Aguero has not earned his spot in the starting lineup but there he is.

    As far as Higuain being snubbed, there is no football argument that Maradona can make against Higuain, so I have to think that there is either something personal involved or its because Higuain is from River Plate.

    There is no reasonable explanation that can be given to justify leaving Real Madrid’s top goal scorer out of the national team.

    I seriously doubt that Maradona’s Boca biases have gone away just because he’s the national team manager.

    Veron being in the starting lineup is inexplicable unless you contemplate that he’s been a good friend of Maradona’s ever since they were teammates in Boca.

    The problem right now for Argentina is that all four games left are all must wins.

    There is no margin of error.

    And in the midst of all this there is an inexperienced manager in charge of the team.

    I really believe that the game against Brasil will make or break Argentina’s WC qualifying campaign.

  3. jack says:

    I heard that Maradona doesn’t like Higuain because he decided to rest last summer rather than going to the olympics. Obviously, his playing for River doesn’t help. Cambiaso played for River as well so maybe that counts against him. Although he clearly has biases, he made Mascherano his captain and he is River born and bred. I don’t get why Jonas starts, anyone who has seen this guy play for Newcastle knows this. He is a winger who doesn’t score goals or send in good crosses, making him completely useless. It is very sad, because I think it is so possible that Argentina will not be at the World Cup, and I think Maradona is the one at fault.

  4. pintadoazulblanco says:

    It was the U-20 WC that Higuain did not participate in, he was pressured by Real Madrid to not go and he gave in to them.

    Maradona has said that any player that refuses to play for the national team will not be called up by him.

    I don’t think he is necessarily wrong to convey that attitude to the players.

    But, Riquelme has resigned twice from the national team and yet, Maradona is saying that he will call him up if Riquelme wants to be back on the team.

    As far as Masche, he is such a great player, the best central midfielder in the world, that not even Maradona could get away with leaving him out of the team.

    I agree completely about Jonas, he is not a national team player. There is no comparison between him and Cuchu.

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