Riquelme calls time on career

The attacking midfielder was best known for his spells with Boca Juniors and Villareal but also played for Barcelona and, latterly, Argentinos Juniors, as well as making 51 appearances for his country.

He had been linked with a move to Major League Soccer but has instead decided to call time on a career during which he made almost 600 appearances and won a string of individual as well as club honours.

???I have decided to no longer play football,??? he said.

???Now I am just a fan. I will go and suffer in the stadium. I am very pleased with the career I had.

???I enjoyed football to the maximum. I hope the people have enjoyed it alongside me. I tried to have a good time. I tried to give everything I could to fans of Boca, Argentina, Villareal and Barcelona, in the youth teams and the full team.

“From now on my football life ends and a new life starts. Let???s see what it holds.”

Riquelme won 11 titles over three spells with Boca, including three Copa Libertadores trophies – the top club honour in Latin America.

Despite failing to make an impact at Barcelona following his move in 2002, he subsequently starred at Villareal, leading the team in 2006 to the final four of the Champions League.

He led Argentina to gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was four times named the country’s player of the year.

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