Maradona: Riquelme has betrayed Boca Juniors fans

Speaking for the first time about the player's imminent exit from the Xeneize, El Diego accused the No.10 of letting down the supporters who have campaigned for him to stay
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has launched a stinging attack on Juan Roman Riquelme following the player's decision to leave Boca Juniors, while also defending his record at Al Wasl after he was relieved of his duties.

Riquelme stunned fans of the Buenos Aires giants following a Copa Libertadores defeat at the hands of Corinthians by stating that he would not continue at the Bombonera.

Claiming that he felt empty, the 34-year-old explained that he could stay in professional football, but it would not be at the club he made his debut for as a substitute for Maradona back in 1997.

Speaking on Wednesday alongside daughter Dalma, 'El Diego' took the opportunity to heavily criticise his former charge in the Argentine national team and his decision to leave.

"If you feel empty, fill yourself up. Riquelme has betrayed 75 per cent of the country, who are Boca fans," the 1986 World Cup winner fired in an interview with Perros de la Calle, also claiming that the public feud between the two was not down to him.

"I did not fight with Riquelme, he fought with me. I want both Argentina and Boca fans to know that, I have never even had a chat with him [about the issue]."

The outspoken coach concluded by referring to his trophyless year in UAE, which ended with his sacking by directors at the start of July.

"The Arabs have the right to choose whatever coach they want, but everyone should know we fought on four fronts with 17 footballers," he explained, before categorically denying reports that he has requested $17 million compensation for his dismissal.

"Whoever gave that information is a moron."

Al Wasl was Maradona's fourth job as a trainer, with previous spells in Mandiyu and Racing Club in the 1990s followed by a stint with the Albiceleste that ended after the 2010 World Cup.