Riquelme’s useless farewell to football

Román’s Despedida is pure propaganda.

“Abrazame hasta que vuelva Roman”. This is more or less the mantra, the secular prayer steeped in haunting nostalgia, that has meandered through the narrow streets of La Boca for nearly a decade. A division between the 10 Xeneizes and his people that was never processed and never truly metabolized. A farewell that matured over time and ended in the management rooms amidst misunderstandings and disagreements, depriving the people of Boca Juniors of a worthy greeting to one of the most representative players in their history: Juan Román Riquelme.

An almost generational farewell, the end of an era that marked an era in the narrative of Latin American football lime finally. Riquelme on the subcontinent is widely known asLast Dieza definition he definitely believes in a certain way of interpreting football has died out, even before it is played. A primal gift for imagination where crystalline talent has long represented the purest enhancement of the game, with no concessions to tactics and even to the squad. An all-encompassing manifestation of himself and his talent, just for the sake of flaunting and probably realizing.

“Anyone who needs to get from point A to point B would choose a four-lane freeway in two hours. Everyone except Riquelmewhich would take six hours on a winding scenic road, but the eyes are full of wonderful landscapes.”

Jorge Valdano.

Today, nine years after his last official appearance, Riquelme is back wearing the number 10 Xeneizes shirt at the Bombonera. Farewell games are traditionally a harrowing nostalgic rite. Parades by stars of emboldened physicists, subverting even the memory of themselves, to be in the field, rekindle their glory and make headlines in the summer news desert. It’s happened to a lot of people and it’s no wonder Román feels the same way now. The Mudo had ended his professionalism and returned to where it all began: with the Argentinos Juniors, in the Segunda Division, contributing – much more spiritually than technically – to the speedy recovery bicho.

A different ending than the idol Azul Y Oro could have been imagined, but in its own way it was a totally worthy way of celebrating great football. on the other hand Farewells at official competitions are always the most offensive. Baggio’s welcome at the San Siro in Milan-Brescia in 2004, when La Scala del Calcio paid tribute to a great champion, and Maldini’s hug, which sealed his greatness, come to mind. Javier Zanetti’s latest work before his audience at Inter-Lazio 2014, celebrated by a triumph of love, or the contemporary and poignant work of Gattuso, Inzaghi and Nesta, marking the end of a triumphant era for the Rossoneri.

While he could understand Román’s desire to greet his audience appropriately, the farewell match came nine years too late It’s frankly inappropriate, if not even pathetic. Even more so when you consider that Riquelme has been vice-president of Boca Juniors with operational roles in the transfer market since 2019 and therefore had the opportunity to reconcile with them for a long time Planet Bocaalbeit in a different form. In short, the recurring image of Riquelme sipping mate from the bombonera’s crates in his expressionless mask is a familiar snap from around La Boca.

«I send the fans a big kissthank you for all the love you have for me, i hope we can continue this relationship for the rest of our lives, on June 25th We’re going to have a great evening, as has happened many times before.”

And yet this game came about, late to say the least, certainly not out of sentimental or, still less, technical urgency. And instead pure propaganda exercise, a manifestation of soft power, in a way that represents a brilliant innovation in the world of politics-sport relations. Taking a step back, it’s worth remembering that the CABJ is a corporation based on the general ownership of members, who regularly appoint a board of directors.

It is no coincidence that there will be new elections in La Boca at the end of 2023 and Román will be one of them candidates to the presidency, as opposed to factions represented by Mario Pergolini, sided with Riquelme in the last elections but resigned after his break with the party Mudo, and Andrés Ibarra, shadow man of the highly decorated duo Angelici/Macri, former presidents of Boca. In this context, the Quotations from Riquelme have recently been undermined by some management decisions that cast doubt on the company’s management abilities Mudo.

First, the stalemate at the beginning of the semester over the choice of coach, with at least a dozen days of hesitation; Then the season started cautiously, to say the least, with fluctuating performances and an anonymous half-table in the Superliga, which initially recorded more defeats than wins. On the other side of town are those heading for a thirty-eighth national title: historic rivals River Plate managed to stomach the exit Napoleon Gallardo thanks to corporate intuition to focus on a rookie Martin Demichelisbut above all by fostering an ongoing talent factory that has brought good results national seven to become world champion in Qatar.

A series of decisions and results that worried shareholders and threatened Riquelme’s position, which was initially quite solid. He then combined the skills of a seasoned statesman with the innate skills of a great playmaker and provided the Bombonera with the first assist he ever gave himself: a huge party to celebrate his greatness in the country and in the world. The greats of football were there Albicelestialof the Virrey Carlos Bianchi to the world champions Scaloni, Di Maria and Paredes. Former teammates Palacio, Burdisso and Schelotto entered the field. There was the dazzling talent of his alter ego millionaire Aimar, but above all Leo Messi was present.

The Pulga Today in Argentina he is a pagan deity, his mere presence moves the masses and his word is worth far more than the declarations of the highest authorities. «Messi? He will be present at the Bombonera and it will be a dream for me. We Argentines were lucky to have him and Maradona and I was lucky to have been with both team-mates. He’ll definitely have fun, he’ll play in the most beautiful stadium and with the most beautiful fans in the world». Evidence of this is Riquelme’s decision to limit access to the stadium and therefore the party. for the Just for members the Boca Juniorsthe only ones who could buy a ticket.

The event opened around midday and a number of bands took turns on stage to best prepare for the arrival of the birthday boy. The money, on the other hand, is not donated to charity, as is usual on such occasions, but of course does not flow into people’s pockets Mudo: Approximately two and a half million (this is the estimate) will pour into Boca’s coffers to fund a gym, press room, basketball court and volleyball court. In short, it was like that in every respect an indirect election rally and a celebration to mark the end of the election campaignexploiting a channel only Riquelme can exploit, at the pace of all other presidential candidates.

In this context of affection and nostalgia, Román has managed to sweep the dust under the rug and remind the whole world its relevance. Social snaps and teardrop-like videos are already on the rise. Headlines abound with the great testimonies of these legends’ appreciation of Riquelme. Even in Europe, the wave of diabetes rhetoric that sees just that is being fueled Mudo as one of the main themes of this narrative.

But most importantly, Riquelme placed one milestone ahead of the upcoming winter elections.

With brilliant intuition, Jorge Valdano had mocked Román’s lack of dynamism and nicknamed him “Il Tollbooth”. (“in the sense that when the ball reaches it, it stops”). From the playing field to the precious desk, it seems that not only the ball but also Worldwide bostero stand around him. Whether that’s good or bad for the company with the largest shareholders in the world, only time will tell. Certainly it won’t be a handful of stars bringing talent and results back to the Bombonera on a June night. It takes programming and vision to do this, just like 10 Xeneizes showed on the pitch when a player really was. When Román expressed not so much his personal ambitions as those of a rigorous people blue and gold.

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