Copa Libertadores Player of the Week: Juan Roman Riquelme, Boca Juniors

The veteran playmaker still has magic to spare, as he aptly demonstrated with a performance midweek against Union Espanola that ranks among the best of recent years
Copa Libertadores Player of the Week: Juan Roman Riquelme
Club: Boca Juniors
Country: Argentina
Age: 33
Role: Number 10
Achievement: A vintage performance in Santiago that led his side safely into the quarter-finals

In the last 20 years of Copa Libertadores history, few can boast as glittering a record as Boca Juniors talisman Juan Roman Riquelme. The enigmatic No. 10, famed for his glittering talent as well as his somewhat capricious temperament, has lifted the famous trophy no less than three times: twice at the turn of the millennium before moving to Spain with Barcelona, and a memorable triumph on his return to the Bombonera in 2007.

In that run he scored in every single knockout round, including three in the Xeneize's 5-0 aggregate win over Gremio. And after two years in the continental wilderness as Boca stuttered on the domestic scene, Roman is enjoying every moment of this season's edition. More than anyone else, he ensured that the Argentines would move on to the quarters in Santiago, as his mastery sank the hopes of Union Espanola.

It was advantage Boca after a 2-1 first-leg victory, but an early goal for the Chileans would have fired them straight back into the tie. Roman had other ideas; a teasing low free kick flashed tantalisingly across the Espanola area found Juan Manuel Insaurralde and the defender smashed home to put Boca one up on the night. Pablo Mouche was the next beneficiary of the playmaker's generosity, pouncing gleefully on an open goal after being released with a flick of Riquelme's boot.

The coup de grace was to come once more from the No. 10 in another moment of magic. Jean Pineda's strike had given Espanola momentary hope, but it was quickly extinguished as Roman waltzed through the defence in a move worthy of Lionel Messi at his best, before flicking home for a wonderful goal. The strike also marked another personal record, his 23rd goal scored in the Copa, which pulls him level with Martin Palermo's historic Boca total.

In a week marked by marvellous individual performances, Riquelme was the best of the bunch in a 3-2 win that announced Boca's return to the cream of South American football, and as serious candidates for the 2012 trophy.

Honourable Mentions

Neymar, Santos
: The youngster took it upon himself to torment Bolivar from start to finish in Vila Belmiro. Two goals took the star to seven for the tournament as the Peixe destroyed their rivals by an incredible 8-0 margin, and he was involved in almost every single strike to prove he can create just as well as he can finish.

Victor Ayala, Libertad: The midfielder laid on both of the Repollero goals with two wicked free kicks, as the Paraguayans ran out winners against Cruz Azul and booked their place in the next round.

Junior Fernandes, Universidad de Chile: Truly the heir to Eduardo Vargas. Junior has been immense so far in the Libertadores, and his double effort was the inspiration for La U to turn around a 4-1 deficit from the first leg and go through at the expense of Deportivo Quito.