Boca Juniors fans plead for Riquelme to stay

Thousands of supporters congregated across Argentina to ask the legend to reconsider his recent decision to leave the club
Fans of Argentine giants Boca Juniors have taken to the streets to ask idol Juan Roman Riquelme to stay, although sources close to the player have revealed that he is almost certain to leave the Bombonera.

The 34-year-old playmaker announced after Thursday's Copa Libertadores final defeat that he had played his last game for the club. But around 6000 supporters crowded the Xeneize stadium on Monday evening, while thousands more packed the streets of Buenos Aires and towns and cities around Argentina, with one goal in mind.

"We've got to jump, everybody sing so that Roman comes back," was one of the chants that rang out in support of the outgoing star, while flags and banners sported the face of the ex-Barcelona player.

According to close friend and former Boca team-mate Marcelo Delgado, however, Roman is unlikely to appear again in the blue and gold strip.

"I think that it would be very difficult for him to come back. He is exhausted, tired and alone," El Chelo explained to La Red, before hitting out at the treatment his friend has received.

"They say that he is in bad shape. Roman, in Carlos Bianchi's time, was tired and troubled a lot of the time. But come matchday, he was brilliant.

"Maybe the coaching team do not know how to treat him. Since [coach Julio Falcioni's] arrival, he looked at him like he wanted to get him out. But he is a professional, he kept on working and training. Afterwards, when Martin Palermo left, we were champions."

Brazilian clubs Cruzeiro and Flamengo have both been linked with the veteran, who has so far stayed silent on what his footballing future holds.

One of Saudi Arabia's biggest clubs, as revealed by, is also preparing a lucrative bid to tempt Roman to the Middle East.