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The Colombian has become public enemy No. 1 in Argentina after his moment of madness on Sunday, but Roman has no doubt that he is the best forward in the country

Boca Juniors legend Juan Roman Riquelme has backed Teo Gutierrez to succeed despite undergoing fierce criticism, as the Racing Club striker deals with the fall-out from his sending off at the Bombonera during a 0-0 draw.

Already in the spotlight after arriving late from international duty, the Colombian was thrust in the spotlight in Sunday's clasico draw after reacting angrily to referee Nestor Pittana's refusal to give him a penalty. Teo was expelled for squaring up to the official and then taunted Boca fans, before finally being escorted from the field.

The forward has earned widespread criticism from across the Argentine football scene, including from several of his own team-mates after he declined to apologise for his actions. Riquelme, however, offered some rare words of praise for the under-fire No. 9.

"Teo is the best centre forward in the whole country. I always like to watch the most talented players," Roman affirmed in an interview with Ole published on Thursday.

The playmaker, injured for the polemic clash, continued to defend Teo's performance against Boca, and stated that for him he had to be included in Racing's plans despite his late return to Argentina.

"The No.9 is a star and when you have a brilliant player like that against you, even if you are playing with one player more you always have the fear he will come up with something good," he added, referring to Boca's reluctance to attack even when Agustin Pelletieri's red card left Racing with 10 men.

"That is why he made Boca play very cautiously."

Boca are currently eight points ahead of Racing in the Apertura title race, with just four games left to play.

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