Riquelme and the national team

I plan to make this the final post about Riquelme and his decision to not play for Argentina in the World Cup.

Please post your comments about Riquelme under this post.

Lets’ talk about it for one last time.

Does Argentina need Riquelme?

Is Riquelme wrong for quitting the national team?

Is Riquelme the only one responsible?

Is Maradona responsible?

Are his former teammates responsible?

Love him or hate him, have your say here.


20 Responses to Riquelme and the national team

  1. damian says:

    I just don’t know anymore about him, the coach, or the national team. I just don’t even know what to think about every game we play.

  2. Mohammad Abu Taleb says:

    I think he should play in the world cup. He and Maradona have to work out any problems between them because the national team is above any problems. Nevertheless, Riquelme will be a great player in the argentine soccer history whatever decision he made. I wish him best of luck in his career and life. Argentine has lots of good player but at the situation of the national team now and the short time that is left to the world cup I think Riquelme could be a good solution that will save lots of time but too bad that he decide not to go to the world cup. Now Maradona have to work it out to find the right players to play in the mid-field which is one problem of many that Maradona have to work out .. The famous identy of the national team as tough team is still missing and I really dont know if Maradona can work out somthing with the too many talented players that he have ..

    Sometimes I think if Riquilme decided to play with the national team , Maradona will not be able to use him the right way. Therefore, I think it does not make any differant wither Riquelme decided to play for the national team or not …

    • pintadoazulblanco says:

      I agree Mohammad, they should both work out their problems for the sake of the national team.

      It won’t be happening though.

  3. pintadoazulblanco says:

    I came across a blog posting by Elio Rossi entitled “Roman’s Secret”.

    Elio Rossi is veteran journalist/football commentator in Argentina.

    I don’t know if any of the following is true but it is an amazing story.

    According to Rossi, he spoke with a person that is close to Riquelme and was told the following:

    A video recording was given to Riquelme.

    The video allegedly has Messi, Aguero and Maradona during the Olympics in China, chanting “Now, we’re going for the senior team”.

    The chant meant to say that Maradona was going to take over as manager of the national team, which Messi & Aguero fully supported, the hiring of Maradona in place of Basile. The Olympic team manager Sergio Batista looked on in silent approval, figuring that he would have a job in the new national team coaching staff under Maradona.

    Once Riquelme saw the video he realized that Basile’s time as national team manager was coming to an end because there were players that were about to throw Basile under the bus.

    Furthermore, Riquelme was given video proof of the much reported chanting incident done by the Argentina players after the friendly against France in which they sang “The team is complete, Don’t call up anyone else”

    A chant that was clearly aimed at Riquelme.

  4. pintadoazulblanco says:

    Here’s the link to the article “Roman’s Secret”


  5. pintadoazulblanco says:

    So, Did Riquelme really resign because Basile was thrown under the bus by the Argentina players?

    Was Basile thrown under the bus?

    Let’s remember:

    – A few games before Basile resigned, Carlos Tevez said after a WC qualifier that he wasn’t trying to throw him under the bus so that he’d be fired. That was an unusual comment to make unless Tevez knew that there were other players that were not giving their best on purpose in order to get rid of Basile and said what he said in order to protect his name and reputation

    – The WC qualifier against Chile which led to Basile’s resignation. It was a dreadful performance by the Argentina players, never in history had the national team been outplayed and dominated by a Chile team the way Argentina was that night

    – Basile’s assistant Ribolzi said publicly that Riquelme was the only player on the national team that supported them, that he knew that Riquelme was going to resign from the national team and referring to Maradona, he said that everyone knows how they get a coaching job

  6. pintadoazulblanco says:

    In spite of all the stories, rumors, half-truths, facts, and whatever else regarding Riquelme’s resignation from the national team , my opinion is still the same.

    Any player that quits the national team twice should never receive another opportunity to wear the Argentina shirt.

    From a football perspective, the national team does not need Riquelme. The days of the traditional playmaker in Argentine football are over. That has carried over to the national team.

    All of the current national team players left Argentina at a young age. They went to Europe and immersed themselves in the pace and style of European football. That will surely continue to happen.

    Players like Messi, Aguero, Tevez, Maxi Rodriguez, Cambiasso, Mascherano and those that didn’t play with Riquelme like Higuain & Di Maria play at a different pace and have a different football mindset than Riquelme.

    Its been seen on the field. There is a clash.

    With Riquelme leading the attack, the entire team always had to adapt to Riquelme. And not the other way around as Riquelme has always been incapable of doing so.

    The players had to adapt to the slower rhythm that Riquelme imposed on the field. The players had to adapt to not playing the ball in quick first touches like they were used to in Europe. The players had to work harder to time their runs. The players had to adapt to having less contact with the ball. The players had to adapt to play buildups that ended up going nowhere because of Riquelme’s habit of moving the ball sideways and backwards.

    None of this new.

    Then there’s been all of the off the field problems. The inner conflicts within the national team that for whatever reason, always seem to have Riquelme at the center of them.

    Riquelme was never a clutch performer. In the big games when he was needed to make the difference, he failed.

    In the final analysis, Argentina with Riquelme as the playmaker, as the #10, never won anything of importance.

  7. Humbird says:

    As I said in the other thread, Riquelme become a royal drama queen. All he needs is a tiara to complete the look. You quit the team….twice….NOW SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

    I had no patience with Fernando Redondo either when he was playing his “I refuse to play for whatever bizarre reason” game.

  8. Quico882k3 says:

    Over the years soccer has changed to todays soccer which is high paced quick passing and very physically demanding but we can never forget that soccer is still very much a strategic game with were you have to know how to move your pieces and know how to send ur pawns into attack. Let me put a scenario WC game its 0-0 its a locked game both teams really dont want to attack because nobody wants to risk anything time is running out were almost headed for penalties Messi gets fouled right outside the area we get a free kick who will kick it? lets say Messi does but he misses we go to penalties and loose once again we come close but we come back home empty handed then we’ll be ther what if riquelme was ther? and this doesnt only a apply to a free kick play it could have been a corner kick or a accurate pass for one our players to score. What i am trying to say is soccer has to do with having the ball to play good what good is it if our players play quick but go nowere Can we afford to leave out a player like Riquelme now when we more then ever need somebody who can think and make the plays our other players can’t don’t get me wrong even without Riquelme i believe we can win the world cup were the sleeping giants and everybody knows that if argentina decides to explode other strong teams will have a very bad time can Spain afford to leave Xavi out? can Brazil leave out Kaka? can England leave out Gerrard? So i ask you all can we afford to leave Riquelme? a player that with once pass can decide a whole game and ake us forget about his flaws and bring a country like Argentina happiness but i only give my very humble opinion i can be very but can we really afford it???

    • pintadoazulblanco says:


      You make some good points.

      Free kicks are definitely an important part of Riquelme’s game and he is great at it.

      Who will take the free kicks in the World Cup?

      The only players that I see in that role are Veron and Di Maria.

      Are they as good as Riquelme? No, not even close.

      That is definitely an area of concern going into the World Cup.

      We do not have anyone great at free kicks but I really do not see free kicks as being the factor that will decide Argentina’s success in the World Cup.

      As far as, Can Argentina afford to leave out Riquelme?

      My answer is Yes.

      Unlike Spain and England, Argentina is deep in talent and has options.

      There’s no question that Riquelme has great passing skills but Argentina has outstanding players that can step in and collectively contribute to the play buildup and attack.

      All of the following players are capable of making accurate passes and linking up with our forwards.

      Players like Aimar, Di Maria, Banega, Cambiasso, Pastore, and Bolatti can collectively fill the void left by not having in the lineup a traditional playmaker like Riquelme.

      Argentina has many midfield options:








      The problem though is that Maradona will likely go with the following midfield:

      Jonas Gutierrez-Mascherano-Veron-DiMaria/Datolo

      The worst possible midfield considering all the options that Maradona has.

      • Quico882k3 says:

        I agree that our national team has more then enough talent but the reason i saw Riquelme as a option was the exact same reason for the line up that maradona will have in the WC its Rediculous with all that the talent we have i think that a midfield with Pastore-Mascherano-Banega-Dimaria could be devastating for oponents you add messi higuain or tevez to that and we could be a nightmare for any team.

  9. roland says:

    Hi pintadoazulblanco, very nice blog.
    I’m Argentina fan since 1986 World Cup. If I am not wrong Argentina’s last trophy in International competition for Senior team was in Copa America 1993 (17 years ago), although the Youth Team’s last trophy was in Olympic 2008, China.

    Let’s talk about Riquelme.
    I think Riquelme is a very good player. I like his passing and free-kick. He won the 1997 U-20 World Cup and 2008 Olympic (as a captain). However, twice he quits the national team, so I think it is the time to forget him.

    I try to answer the questions you post

    Does Argentina need Riquelme? No. Ever Banega or Maxi Moralez can replace Riquelme’s place

    Is Riquelme wrong for quitting the national team? No. It’s his decision. Maradona calls him but he did not want to join (according to Maradona)

    Is Riquelme the only one responsible? No

    Is Maradona responsible? YESSS!!!! HE IS THE BIG PROBLEM!!!
    I’m very sure, even if, say, he can call all the best player in this world (Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, Xavi, Iniesta…) to his team, the team he managed will still not have a good performance. In other words, AFA must fired him!(Is it possible?…). He is not a coach. He just watching the game from the bench. No tactics, no strategy.

    Just to remember, Jose Pekermen won the 1995 U-20, 2001 U-20 (no Riquelme), Fransisco Ferraro won the 2005 U-20 (no Riquelme), Hugo Tocalli won the 2007 U-20 (no Riquelme). I know Riquelme can not on above teams I mentioned. What I mean is, Argentina have so many talents and do not depend only on one player like Riquelme or Messi. Just to mention a few:
    Emiliano Insua, Fabian Monzon, Ever Banega, Maxi Moralez, Mauro Zarate, Federico Fazio, Ezequiel Garay, Matias Cahais, and more…..They won the 2005 U-20/2007 U-20/Olympic 2008. Why not just use the players from these three teams?

    Are his former teammates responsible? No

    BTW, pintadoazulblanco, do you know the reason why AFA choose Maradona as the coach (in Nov 2008), and not other coach (Batista, Simeone…,etc)? If you can choose, who will you choose as the manager? I want to know your opinion about this.

    Anyway, I still hope Argentina can win 2010 World Cup in SA. Thanks.

    • pintadoazulblanco says:

      Hi Roland,

      I agree with you. We do not have a coach, we have someone just standing on the sidelines looking clueless, as he is.

      I would have liked to have seen players like Garay and Fazio called up because Argentina’s backline has been the team’s biggest problem and it would’ve been a good idea to call up some of our best young defenders and see if they could help improve the defense.

      But it didn’t happen.

      I also would’ve liked to have seen Insua get more playing opportunities than he did to see if he could be the starting left-back in the World Cup.

      If Samuel is one of the starting center-backs then Heinze will probably be the starting left-back.

      What a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!

  10. pintadoazulblanco says:

    Why was Maradona chosen as national team manager?

    The AFA president made that decision.

    Publicly, he said that the time had finally arrived for Maradona to receive an opportunity to be the Argentina manager. Despite the fact that Maradona was not prepared nor qualified for the job.

    Batista was not hired as national team manager because the plan was for Batista to be Maradona’s assistant but Maradona would not go along with it, he instead wanted his close friend Mancuso, who like Maradona has no coaching experience, to be his assistant.

    Batista has coaching experience in Argentina and he coached the U-20 and Olympic teams.

    I like his coaching style and the attack minded style of football that he believes in.

    As far as I know, Simeone has not been considered yet for the Argentina manager job.

    Who would I choose as national team manager?

    I don’t have one specific manager in mind but I think the following are very qualified and would do well:

    Carlos Bianchi

    Angel Cappa

    Marcelo Bielsa

    Ricardo Gareca

    Sergio Batista

  11. solein says:

    hay pintadoazulblanco i liked what u said about the whole riquelme thing so i posted the roman secret article in my website but i was attacked by fans who argued that the story sounds like a Bollywood movie and that the whole thing is not convencing and it has nothin to do with basile and its just that riquelme is hurt by what maradona had said about him!
    u see riquelme fans are the worst and they will never hear anything against him he is only a victim according 2 them
    iam not saying that maradona isnt part of the problem but realy i cant stand the attitude of this arrogant guy
    btw do u have a link for what carlos tevez had said about basile at that time

  12. pintadoazulblanco says:

    Hi Solein,

    The majority of Riquelme fans will not criticize Riquelme no matter what. That’s how they are. They are rabid, blind fans. In their eyes Riquelme can do no wrong.

    To them and Riquelme, the Boca shirt comes first and is the shirt they love the most.

    I’m sure many of them will be rooting against Argentina in the World Cup.

    As far as a link of the Tevez quote, you’ll have to do the legwork on that.

  13. amir says:

    viva roman

  14. amir says:

    we are the best . argentina 3 – germany 0

  15. mauricef says:

    Roland you are absolutely right, we don’t have a coach. I mean out of all the big giants we are the nly one without a competent coach. How hard it is just to call up the best in form players, what is his problem? it’s as if he wants argentine football to suffer.

  16. geo says:

    roman is very important in this team!! since he has left, there isn’t heart anymore, no links between midfield & forward. this team has always been frightening with riquelme’s playmaker.

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