Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
He may not have been caught relieving himself on the floor of a nightclub, topless models haven’t claimed to have enjoyed a bit of nooky with him in a toilet, he’s not padre del año, but this week Juan Román Riquelme was John Terry.
Celebration-gate has dominated the front, middle and back-pages of the papers.
For those who missed the scandal, Martin Palermo finally became Boca’s all-time top-scorer last weekend by knocking in his 219th goal for the club, thanks to a pass from Riquelme.
Despite the historic moment that belonged to the No.9, the No.10 went off to celebrate his astonishing three-yard pass all by himself, as Palermo just stared at him in disbelief.
This week has mainly been dedicated to the fallout from the fall-out.
Both Riquelme and Palermo’s contracts run up at the end of the season. The first is the fans' favourite, the second is the club’s top-scorer. They hate each other.
The board’s choice of coach won’t come while Riquelme is at the club. But 36-year-old Palermo has a like-for-like replacement in the wings while Riquelme doesn’t.
"The only thing that brings us together is the shirt," said Palermo after the eighth question about Riquelme at a press conference, managing to name his nemesis just three times in nearly 40 minutes in front of the media.
A well-respected paper in Argentina took the opportunity to run through the various crises that have hit Boca this season.
To sum up, think a six-way no holds barred free-for-all Smack Down between president, former president, the board, the coach, the players and the fans.
Yet as said paper put a name to all the different internal battles and problems, it left out one of the more recent scandals.
Tweetersphere gossip hinted that one of the ‘big-name players’ had ‘tried it on’ via SMS with the girlfriend of one of his team-mates.
It was soon added that the victim was Pablo Mouche, who WAG watchers will know is the envy of the nation because it is he who steps out with Luli Fernandez.
The ‘big name player’ had two numbers on the back of his shirt, not one.
So far nothing has come of the alleged advances. Señorita Luli didn’t engage in Ashley Cole-esque games of texting and just showed the message to Mouche, who is said to have stormed into the boardroom demanding action be taken against Riquelme.
On the scale of things, however, it is probably low down on the board’s priorities. Finding a solution to the Palermo-Riquelme situation and not causing a civil war amongst the Boca fans is higher up.
One paper was guilty of a Freudian typo when they wrote about Juan Ramón Riquelme.
While Román was keeping Boca busy, Ramón was the journalists’ choice of new coach at River Plate.
President Daniel Passarella broke his radio silence by holding a press conference which swiftly turned into a relatively mono-themed series of questions.
Why didn’t you appoint Ramón Díaz? Would Ramón Díaz have been a good choice? The fans wanted Ramón, are you aware of that? Cappa doesn’t have the experience, but Ramón does. Is there any chance Ramón will take over in the future? Did you speak to Ramón? What did he say? How would you describe your relationship with Ramón? And so on…
Passarella pointed out that the board of directors voted for who they should appoint as the new coach. Cappa beat Ramón 12-0.
Away from the media-monopolising duo, there’s a Super Sunday clásico double bill this weekend.
First up, Huracán will make the trip to one of the most intimidating stadiums in Buenos Aires by taking on San Lorenzo.
With eight goals, eight defeats and 14 points from 14 games, its not exactly the stage fright of taking on Lord Aragon’s side that puts the jitters up the Globo – rather, it’s arriving having gone past one of the largest villa miserias in the city.
Unlike the fans and the gringos, however, footballers probably have some kind of police protection. If Huracán beat the team 10 places below them in the league, they’ll need it when they leave too.
Speaking of the police, the Rosario derby kicks off two hours later. The recent violence amongst both sets of fans means the already tasty, if you can call it that, clásico is set to be a whole lot spicier.
Around 25,000 Newell’s Old Boys fans were at the stadium on Thursday night to gee up the players – its become something of a classic with NOB fans. Argentina’s favourite song – if you don’t jump you’re English – was turned around so that the thousands of Leper fans were jumping – if you didn’t you are going to the B.
While Newell’s have largely disappointed this season, Central are on the edge of the abyss. Second bottom in the league, the Scoundrels are in the relegation playoff positions. With clásicos generally counting for six points, this is a game they can’t slip up in.
Rolando Schiavi, however, wants the hated rivals to stay up. The Rosario clásicos are stuff of legend, according to the Flaco. The city needs the game. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer – like Palermo and Riqulme.
FixturesChacarita v Atlético TucumánTigre v EstudiantesBanfield v IndependienteRiver v Godoy CruzSan Lorenzo v HuracánGimnasia v BocaRosario Central v Newell’sRacing v VélezArsenal v ArgentinosColón v Lanús
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To be fair, Joel. Like you wouldn't have tried it on? I'm sure he flashed a wink at me during a club do. So I thought, "what the hey? I am Román!"
Riquelme denied the whole episode on Friday. He said he never did anything of the sort and he called his compañero to say so. He says 'this is all totally set up'.
Believe who you will...
Trust in Roman! Saw the press conference yesterday, impossible to imagine that face could lie.
"that face..." Hmmm.
Twist no. 163: Pablo Mouche, the Wayne Bridge in all this, didn't deny it in a Friday afternoon radio interview, and refused to talk about the issue at all.... I stick by the 'believe who you will...'
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