Juan Román Riquelme, vice president of Boca Juniors, spoke exclusively to Football 90, from ESPN Argentina. Among the topics covered, the change of coach, the current cast, the painful elimination in the Libertadores Conmebol and the situation of Sebastián Villa.
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The biggest idol in Xeneize history considered the departure of Miguel Ángel Russo a “normal decision”, said it was “the ideal moment” for the arrival of Sebastián Battaglia as coach and declared: “Villa disrespected the club, the shirt and his teammates. Everyone knows that.”
See below for Riquelme’s main quotes exclusively for ESPN Argentina:
The departure of Miguel Ángel Russo
“I’m enjoying it a lot, we’ve been at the club for a year and a half. I’m much happier than I thought, taking good care of my club. We looked for Miguel (Russo) convinced when we won the elections. He really enjoyed being there and we liked it. to have him. He helped us a lot, gave us joy and the results were excellent”.
“We have to make decisions and we believe that this was the ideal moment for Sebastián (Battaglia) to take over the team.”
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“We take decisions very calmly, calmly, securely. Miguel’s departure was a normal decision”.
“I love Miguel a lot and he loves me.”
The beginning of the Battaglia era
“Battaglia is the dream of every child who comes to our club. And it’s good for us to see him there. It’s part of our club’s history. He fulfilled all his dreams as a football player. And now he’s preparing as a football player. coach. He spent a year and a half directing the reserve and has done very well.”
“We see him well. He’s a calm person, he manages a line. When he’s happy, you don’t notice. And when he’s sad, neither is it.”
“We are very happy with the coach we have chosen.”
Elimination in Libertadores for the Atlético-MG
“We were convinced that we were going to beat Atlético Mineiro and that happened. It was a final for the players who just arrived. It was complicated, with everything that Libertadores represents for our club.”
“The team did wonders and the opponent didn’t kick us on goal.”
“It hurts to see the Copa Libertadores and not be playing. We should be there.”
“We’ll see what happens with sanctions. I’m worried that I was left out as we were. It hurts a lot.”
The reinforcements and the current situation of the cast
“So much has happened in these 60 days that it feels like a year has passed. We won the three finals we played: both in the Libertadores and in the Copa de Argentina. I just have to thank these guys.”
“You have to give the boys time. It’s not easy to put on the shirt and make a difference so quickly. The (Juan) Ramirez thing is a unique case.”
“Increasingly we have a more competitive squad”.
Situation of Sebastian Villa
“He’s going through days of isolation and when he’s done he has to show up for training. It will probably be Monday.”
“He has a contract with our club and he has to respect it. Things are normal.”
“If Villa wants to play for Boca? You have to ask him.”
“We’ve taken on a club with debts. I take care of my club more than I do my family. We’re not going to melt it down. We’re a serious club and we fulfill all obligations. We expect Villa to fulfill their obligations.”
“Did you hear anyone from the club say that Villa is for sale? Offers can reach everyone. We improved Villa’s contract and he agreed to sign the clause he signed.”
“I talked to him and his manager when he didn’t train for two days. I told him what the club thinks. Things are clear and simple.
“He disrespected the club, the shirt and the teammates. Everyone knows that.”
“For us, Villa was very important. When we decided to bring Cardona they said I liked him and he showed how well he plays. Flea Rodríguez works wonders. There are very good players in Argentine football: Matías Suárez, Enzo Pérez, Marcos Rojo and Juan Ramírez always play well.”