Former Barcelona, Argentina player Juan Roman Riquelme retires

Juan Roman Riquelme retires with 51 Argentina caps to his name.

Juan Roman Riquelme, who played 51 times for Argentina’s national team and also starred in Spain with Villarreal and Barcelona, has announced his retirement.

The 36-year-old Riquelme, who returned to Argentina in 2008 to join his former team Boca Juniors, played primarily as an attacking midfielder and scored 17 goals for the national team.

A great passer and long-range shooter, he played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and led Argentina to gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Riquelme left Boca Juniors in June of 2014 and played a few matches with second-division Argentinos Juniors. That club was promoted back to the first division at the end of last year, and Riquelme said part of his retirement hinged on not wanting to face his beloved Boca.