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.