Buenos Aires: Villarreal playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme rejoined Boca Juniors on loan and said he's eager to play after being sidelined for two months. "Today is certainly one of the happiest days since I began playing soccer," Riquelme said. Riquelme played for Boca from 1996 to 2002, winning three league championships, two Copa Libertadores titles, and an Intercontinental Cup. Villarreal loaned the 28-year-old midfielder to the end of the season on June 30 for a reported US$2 million. Riquelme hasn't played for Villarreal in 2007 but before then he'd been struggling to recapture his form of last season, when he helped the Spanish club reach Europe's Champions League semifinals. Since joining from FC Barcelona in 2003, Riquelme had been key to Villarreal's rise, and helped the team reach the UEFA Cup semifinals in his first season. Poor form He retired from international duty last September after 37 appearances, citing his mother's health and criticism of his performance at the World Cup when Argentina lost in the quarterfinals to Germany. But Boca president Mauricio Macri welcomed Riquelme back. "It's with great joy we welcome the homecoming of one of the players who had such a big role in the history of Boca in recent years," Macri said. Riquelme wasn't expected to travel with Boca to Bolivia for a Copa Libertadores match against Bolivar on Wednesday, but officials said he may make play on Sunday against Rosario Central in the second round of the Clausura. "Tomorrow I'll start training and if the coach (Miguel Russo) gives me the OK, I have no problems with playing on Sunday," Riquelme said. Russo said he would advise on Thursday whether Riquelme was in condition to play after being idle since mid-December.
Topics : Football