Juan Román Riquelme comments Argentina at the World Cup, Lionel Messi, World Cup qualifier


Juan Román Riquelme spoke about the Argentina national team’s chances at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Lionel Messi and Argentina playing at Boca’s La Bombonera stadium.

Román Riquelme and Lionel Messi were team mates for several years with the Argentina national team. They were both part of the 2006 World Cup team, part of the 2007 Copa America and won gold together at the 2008 Olympics. Now, Riquelme has since retired and is vice president of Boca Juniors.

Riquelme commented on Argentina’s chances at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Speaking in an interview with TyC Sports, here is what he had to say:

“As long as Messi is there, we are candidates. We have the best player of all. I have no doubt that it will be a great World Cup. For Argentina to be close to be crowned champions, he has to be good. You always have to have faith in Messi.”

In regards to Lionel Messi:

“Messi is not the same one from 10 years ago. He is a genius who reinvented himself with time. Now, he plays like a number 10, who does the pass for the goal. He started by accelerating and was faster with the ball than without it. He didn’t shoot free kicks, now he shoots them better than anyone. He is a genius, he is unique. I love him a lot.”

Regarding the Argentina national team playing against Venezuela at La Bombonera stadium:

“It’s wonderful. The best player in the world is going to play on our pitch. It’s a pleasure. When they asked us, we said that for us it was a luxury. We were very grateful. Seeing Messi at the Bombonera is going to be wonderful, we are going to enjoy it a lot. Hopefully he enjoys playing at our house.”


  1. I hope messi’s time at PSG improves…that shit club that represents the country that kicked us out of last WC and won it is doing us damage again by ruining messi’s form before the WC.. I’m a bit worried…

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say it is a conspiracy to defend a WC.. this time Arg is a better contender and France know that

  2. Riquelme doesn’t interview or speak much. So I’m happy to hear from him. Good old Romani days, we thought there was no doubt we would take the 2006 cup home with riquelme zannetti cambiaseo Sorin crespo Ayala tevez Messi etc. And pekerman as coach.
    Wow what a team it was.

      • precisely. he was 18. we should have unleashed him. Mbappe won the WC at 17. But Pekerman chickened. He introduced Julio Cruz because he said he was better at heading out German corners in last 10 mins. He was defending a crazy 1-0 against Germans. Would have let Messi run, we would have won that WC.

    • Yes, fully agreed with everything u wrote as that 2006 team was deffenetly one of my favourites of so many Arg NT’s that i have watched since 1978 and offcourse 1978, 1986 and 1990+1994 teams were magnificent as chainsmoker could have a called Diego at age of 17 for 1978 world cup as at 1982 Diego did not have the rest of all those great team players in the best shape and offcourse Arg was surprisingly drawn in to second round group with Italy and Tele Santana’s Brazil who were the greatest edition of Brazil for me, but did not win nothing at 1982 and 1986 as Arg even with Diego in the team was not an favourite to win at Mexico as 1982 at Barcelona/Spain there were great expectations from Menotti’s team with this time Diego allready known as the best player in the world, but as some players from 1982 have mentioned later on that they could not just get in to that same best physical condition as at 1978 and the preparation did not work and that is why they could not win etc…

      Luckily, Bilardo came with another brilliant aproach and showed the whole world what a team that play together as a team can do with offcourse the best player on the planet as Diego who could have won easily 3 WC’s as in theory even 4 etc…

      But, for some unknown reason Menotti thought that he was too young to be picked at 1978 even everybody knew allready what he was about !

      I can see very similar pattern with Messi being the best player on the planet together with Diego just playing on different era, but Still both are so superior to others etc…

      So if i start counting realistcly from 2006 which was LEO’s first WC with Pekerman, Yes they could have easily won, but for some reason they did not even the team was so good and packed with great players, Ok also 2002 maybe even more better team or at least everyone expected Arg to win, but they did not won for some reason, called it Bielsa or whatever it really does not matter as it is allready past history, though very sad history indeed as was 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002,2006 and Ok i will jump to 2014 even 2010 in theory Arg could have end up as winners, but as they did not as also in 1990 in the final again, but did not win and 1994, well we can talk about that another time, but 1998 again very competive team and lost to Netherlands by one stupid split by Ortega as i have nothing against him, but that split did hurt me deeply as i was so sad and 2002 i really don’t know what to say as i’m Still amused…?

      The 2006 team offcourse made sad too, but mostly because Arg just lost by penalties and as SorinXcrespO said what a team that was indeed as they palyed such a great football on the pitch which will allways remain in the history of football even they did NOR win anything so, Ok Yes Pekerman withdrew Riquelme and did not use Messi, but i think in the when Abondazieri got hurt and had to be subbed off it kind of effected the whole team as there are moments in the game which can happenvery fast indeed specially nowdays as football is so much faster than ever before and now we come to my point which surprise, surprise is Armani

      Absolutly great Goalie with fantastic career and kind of main tree standing firm and tall as and carrying all the brunches fully alive and making them grow and reach even more bigger brunches etc..

      And i’m not really a fan of cutting treenit at all as there are way too many tree’s that have allready been cut off from this planet we are living in, but i do know something about forest’s and specially how they used to cut trees before by hand’s before those machine’s game which just destroy everything more less when they are cutting forest’s even u can program them precisily as u wish so they will basicly just cut the trees u want them too etc. , but with money involded and now as price of wood is higher than ever, well there many who are cutting their own woods as offcourse there are tho multiforest corporations that don’t care nothing else than money, but unfortunatly as Covid has effected to market prices of different goods and items which some are very hard to get hold of etc..,and as world is getting more and more unstable place to live this unfortunatly effect’s the mind’s of many private forest owners who offcourse think that, well the price for wood is higher than ever so, Ok let’s cut it down etc.,.

      But, let’s step back to before we started to cut masses of our woods with machine’s, which indeed it is not so long ago and Still there is people who are owners of their own woods and don’t want deal with those who are cutting with machine’s as it is easy, safe and very effective way and ofcourse super fast comparing to cutting trees by hand’s.

      But, if u or me or anyone has some woods of their own then i will higly recomend to cut the trees by hand and in this order if u are not in hurtybof making money etc.

      As this way it is the most natural and most logical way to also so it as first u pick the tallest tree from your own wood’s and most of the time’s it is also naturally the oldest of them and the reason why u pick this tree is that by cutting that verygood and beautiful tree that has served u and your woods and everything else so well and so many year’s is just simply because by cutting that tree u will only and i repeat once more, just only give more life for the other trees as they are not more shadowed by this old beautiful and very fantastic tree and that those other great younger trees will be able to get more daylight to grow even more greater trees than they allraedy are, so in the end everything in life in general is about cycle’s and as if and very old tall tree is growing in the middle of your own woods and by that way blocking your other great trees to grow even more greater trees, well as much it will hurt it is allways Still best to cut that tallest and mostly oldest tree firstly to simply allow the others to grow more etc., but if this tall old tree is just standing by it’s own and not blocking any other trees at all, well then, please don’t go and cut it as it will not serve u or anyone on this planet the same way as if it is blocking other trees to grow etc…

      So, for me it is time to cut down Armani and hopefully this will be his last game in Arg Nt and i really hope that he will make an media approach after the game and anounce his retirement from Arg Nt by himself as i’m affraid Scaloni won’t do that according to his hones’t and good manners and because of his respect for Armani which he truly deserves as he has greatly served Arg Nt for so long and hopefully maybe if Arg will win the WC, maybe they will arrange a game for past players who have allready either quit by themself’s or been forced to quit as for example as Kun had to do for his beloved Albiceleste as there been many players involded, maybe not all directly have worked with Scaloni, but the way or another been a part of why Scaloni is now in charge with his great crew and staff and why things have changed and are going again to better direction finally as after 2006 when Pekerman left only Sabella and, Ok Tata with mostly Sabella’s team, but with luckily some new inclusion’s and faces were introduced and offcourse unfortunatly reached, but lost in the end Finals which Arg could have easily won, but it was just not ment to be for some unknown old reason again like it happened in the past WC’s as 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006,2010 and specially 2014!

      Passarella left Redondo out of 1998 team as herefused to cut his hair, Diego did not pick Zanetti, Menotti left 17 year old Diego out, Sabella choosed Palacio, Ricky Alvarez, ”Glass leg” Gago etc.,.instead of Lamela, inform Tevez( maybe a bit trouble maker, but nothing to compare to Icardi), Pastore etc..,

      This has somehow allways mostly been the case with Arg Nt expect 1986 and 1990 when most of players for Bilardo were alkready injured before the tournament started in Italy as this scenario can happen any time as we saw at 2014 with Sabella’s weak bench etc.. Try imagine Arg with Redondo at 1998 for example, which did not happen due to most stupid call i can recall since 1978 , though even then i was pissed at Menotti dropping young Diego out, but Ok i forgive him, because he brought Arg’s first WC ! But, could not repeat it at 1982 with Diego, though Bilardo allmost did it twice with Diego as nobody expected to happen at 1986 and offcourse everybody expected to happen, thus it had allready happened at 1986, but injuries ruined it, though Still Arg reached final as they did at 2014, but with injuries again, though i must admit that Still Arg were much more superior against German’s than 1990, but superior not necessarily allways bring u trophy’s as we have seen so many time’s in history of football that also other great teams have fallen for some unknown reasons etc.,.as 2002 for example if talking about Arg as i mostly concentrate on as other teams dont give me that same spark for some reason it is only Arg or nothing for me personally…

      But, offcourse superiority give’s u advantage’s which one in charge must capitalize in the right time and in the right moment and that is why i really wish that Scaloni has studied Arg’s past history too, though it may not have anything to fo with his team at all and i won’t be surprised that if he will not care what happened in the past and why should he ? As this and present moment is allways the most important and which counts in the end, but i’m a bit disapointed that specially now when so many players missing because either they been banned by FIFAKER’S or they are injured or ill from Covid or have been and not been able to gain back their previous form etc.

      As also allready qualified and playing in Bombonera for godsake, why not give an opportunity to Simeone or if not him why to start with Armani, MacAllister, Pezella, J.Correa as this time would have been perfect game to try other defenders, goalies, middfielders like Palacios or Dominguez even give a chance for Lanzini and at least to A.Correa and Alvarez who both been just awesome and later on introduce and give an first International cap fot at least some of those youngsters too !

      Sorry to say, but most certainly in any other National team this would be the case most certainly, but i do understand the politics and the pressure which exists in Argentina and also not only from AFA and different Clubs and media, but also from local fan’s and that is understandable offcourse it is pretty normal in football, but somehow i get the feeling that as this been maybe the last home game before WC or who knows, but the approach from Scaloni feels a bit like that he might be scare to loose at Bombonera in front of home fans maybe in the last home game before WC, which is understandable, but Still every team has to face that once in life time or otherwise the whole process of developping and adapting and trying to improve even more, though Arg allready doing super fantastic under Scaloni and his crew, Still there is allways room for more iimprovement as everyone knows howhard it is to win the WC as u need luck on your side, fullyfit players who are on form and offcourse a winning team that is bind together and i see Scaloni doing this binding very well indeed as the harmony and team chemistry is at very good level, but as a team or unit working together more or less with same players, Still u gotta use them all at least at one point or give those who have not palyed that much yet a kind of award and to remind them also why they are included in the team, if not, then why to pick them at all and just letbthem rotten in the bench most of the time and just play 5-10 minutes, maybe in the end etc…

      As A.Correa and Alvarez are very goid players at least for my eyes and as Lautaro offcourse being great and hopefully continue on that path til’ the end etc., but as now when he is not available and when so many others misssing too why not use this as an opportunity instead of shielding everyone and not calling certain defenders or strikers or at least give time for those who have waited allredy so long for this opportunity,

      Sorry, again, but this is dangerous kind tactics for me and it reminds me too much from wounds from the past and i truly hope Scaloni is more wiser than some of his precissors who were absolutly great as Pekerman and Sabella for example, but Still even with them something might have missing at least with Sabella’s team as i see 2006 team with Pekerman very unlucky even they did not reach til’ the final, but the team was very well build and super strong bench too, but as i said in football things can be changed in one moment as someone will get injured or by one single misstake as margins are so narrow that the is simply no room for mistakes or injuries to happen at stage of WC, but maybe injuries with certain players can be covered as fornow Arg has very strong squad overall as only left back and upfront has Still place for to cover more or at least to try fix something or somekind of back up plan if Acuna and Tagliafigo both will be injured during WC, which i truly hope not! Also same with Lautaro, but for up front i see more options than for left back as other areas of the pitch have plenty of options when and if every player is just fit to play etc..,as there many who have not even been called up yet as Benitez, Senesi and hopefully some more similar kind of options which will only improve the team more as maybe Simeone etc…in the end i do not care so much who is playing if Arg keep’s growing and maintain on the right path, but i’m sorry to say with Armani and MacAllister the path is not the right one and not certainly not growing, so what i want is that every position is covered properly with the best players as most of us want the best teams also to play in the world cup and with their best players facing Arg’s best players etc…

      I know i’m bit overconcern , but because what i seen in the past make’s me worried and actually i’m seeing this also in the some of teams who are playing in Europe at club level as i quess it is very difficult scenario for the coaches when players are injured or not in the form or what so ever reason just not delivering etc..,

      As it is allways very easy to write and talk about things specially when u are actualky quite far from it and have no clue what so ever what is actually going on literally, lol!

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