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Football | Argentina

Juan Roman Riquelme © Action Images

I'm not going back to Boca - Riquelme

Juan Roman Riquelme disappointed Boca Juniors coach Carlos Bianchi and the club's fans by announcing on Saturday he would not be returning to the top Argentine side.

Supporters were excited by the prospect of the former Argentina playmaker ending his self-imposed Boca exile when Bianchi, the club's most successful coach, took charge of the team for the third time last month.

"I can't change the decision I took six months ago. I'm not coming back to Boca," Riquelme told reporters after a meeting at the Casa Amarilla training complex with Bianchi and club president Daniel Angelici.

"I thought about it up to the last moment because of the coach but I can't change the decision I made.

"I love this club, I have a lot of memories. Boca will always be my club but I have my word," Riquelme added referring to the announcement he made six months ago.

He walked out on Boca after they lost the South American Libertadores Cup final to Corinthians in June and has not played since.

The 34-year-old Boca idol did not see eye to eye with former coach Julio Cesar Falcioni whose contract was not renewed last month.

Bianchi won four Argentine leagues, three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups during his two previous spells with the team between 1998 and 2004.

Riquelme, who shared in all but three of those trophies, has not said he has retired from football and has been courted by Brazilian clubs after saying he would not play for another Argentine side.

"If I get the chance to play (elsewhere) I will," Riquelme said.


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