Looking For Riquelme – Part I: Discovering A Genius

Tactics, Busquets, et cetera.

I was about twelve when I first became aware of Juan Román Riquelme. I’d love to lie and say that I discovered him on late-night broadcasts of Boca Juniors matches; that I stayed up late to watch him humiliate Real Madrid in the 2000 Intercontinental Cup; that I had a cool Argentine uncle who told me all about a mythical enganche who moved in slow-motion but thought quicker than anyone else. Sadly, I can only tell the truth.

If memory serves, I first learned of Riquelme’s existence through Championship Manager 01-02. He and Martín Palermo could be purchased from Boca for a combined £20m or so and if you were at a club with the means to do those deals, you’d have been mad not to make them your top priority. Buying the two guaranteed a constant cavalcade of beautiful success.

Many happy hours were spent watching my Tottenham side…

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