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Riquelme Happier at Home than in Spain, February 27th, 2007 3:13PM



For many, Argentine wizard Juan Roman Riquelme was one the outstanding players of the 2006 World Cup. It seemed as though everything Argentina did ran through Riquelme, whose performance in the 6-0 thrashing of Serbia & Montenegro will live long in World Cup memory.

Things have changed dramatically for Riquelme since then. Injury and poor form ultimately led to him being dropped by his Spanish club, Villarreal, the team he led to the Champions League semifinal last year. Now back in Argentina with Boca Juniors, the club he grew up playing for, Riquelme has shifted his sights back to the team he never stopped loving. "Boca is more than a team; it's a way of life!" the 28-year old told "The field at La Bombonera literally moves on Sundays. It's an atmosphere you can't get anywhere in the world... For the first time in a long time I can truly say that I am happy again."

Despite his unabashed joy, Riquelme's move to Boca isn't permanent: Villarreal has only agreed to lend him to the Argentine giant for five months. At the end of the European season, he will still have one year remaining on his contract. Nevertheless, Riquelme makes it sound as though he's through with the Spanish club. "What goes on at Villarreal is no longer of concern to me," he said. "My first, and only priority at the moment is Boca." Read the original story...

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