Juan Roman Riquelme has been left out of the Boca Juniors squad for Saturday's match against All Boys, raising questions about the future of the talented but temperamental 32-year-old midfielder.
Riquelme missed last weekend's 1-0 victory over Racing with an injured right ankle. He said earlier in the week he had recovered and was ready to play at Boca's famous La Bombonera stadium.
New Boca coach Julio Cesar Falcioni, who took over the club two months ago, has a strained relationship with Riquelme. Falcioni said he would not include the former Barcelona player among the starters or substitutes for the match.
"Boca hired me to make big decisions," Falcioni said Thursday. "The team played well and this is my decision to try to keep it up."
Riquelme played in Boca's opening match of the season two weeks ago, a humiliating 4-1 loss against Godoy Cruz in which he injured his ankle.
The playmaking midfielder has been plagued by injuries the last several years and fell out of favor with former Argentina coach Diego Maradona, who left him out of the squad during most of his tenure.
Riquelme had surgery on his left knee in May 2010, played only a handful of games, then missed the final four matches of the Apertura due to Achilles' tendinitis.