Riquelme says he would back Maradona as coach

BY foxsports • November 25, 2010

Juan Roman Riquelme says he will support Diego Maradona as coach of Boca Juniors if the Argentine football great is appointed to the job.

Boca playmaker Riquelme was left out of Argentina's World Cup squad by Maradona but said Wednesday on Fox Sports that he would put aside any ill feeling to play under him at the Buenos Aires club.

Boca Juniors is seeking a coach after Claudio Borghi resigned last week following a 1-0 loss to River Plate in the most followed game of the season in Argentina.

Banfield coach Julio Cesar Falcioni is considered the leading candidate to succeed Borghi, but Maradona - formerly a star player at Boca - would be a popular choice with many fans.

"I'm a 32-year-old person and one puts these things aside," Riquelme said. "The club president is the one who decides, and if he decides it's Maradona then he'll do his job as coach and I'll do mine as a player. We'd be in the same boat to see that things go well."

Maradona, who was dropped as Argentina's coach after a 4-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals, overlooked Riquelme when he took over the national team.

New national team coach Sergio Batista has said he would consider calling up Riquelme once the playmaking midfielder is fit.

Riquelme will miss Boca's four remaining games of the Argentina Apertura season with a foot injury.

The club said Wednesday that Riquelme had Achilles tendinitis in his right foot, which would require rest. Boca has 20 points and is far off the lead in the Apertura tournament. The Clausura season opens in January.

Riquelme underwent surgery on his left knee in May and has played only two matches since then. He played 90 minutes against Argentinos Juniors, but lasted only 45 minutes in last week's match against River Plate before limping off with the foot injury.

The club said it hoped Riquelme would be available for the first game of the Clausura season against Godoy Cruz.