June 19, 2013
Boca fans hold massive 'flag protest' to support Riquelme
Thousands of Boca Juniors fans gathered at La Bombonera stadium with their team’s flags to show their support for player Juan Román Riquelme, who announced last week he was going to leave the club.
The fans, with flags, T-shirts and other Boca Juniors merchandinsing, were summoned via social networks to request Riquelme to rethink his decision announced after the Libertadores Cup final played against Brazil’s Corinthians.
The “Banderazo” (flag protest) was held at the main door of the stadium, as it was closed. The fans were later allowed to enter to the stadium and stay in the stands for an hour.
Most of the fans blamed the situation on Boca’s President Daniel Angelici and coach Julio Falcioni.
The Boca Juniors midfielder is an idol at the club. Occupying the coveted “enganche” role, literally the hook joining midfield and attack, his languid creativity has been at the heart of Boca’s success over the last two decades, and come to define a position more deeply ingrained in the national psyche than any other. However now it seems his era is coming to a close.
Following the Libertadores Cup final in 2007, where his performance drove Boca to victory, Riquelme understandably dominated the headlines, and so it was again last week after his club’s latest continental final, although for very different reasons.
This time his team lost, undone by the defensive resolve of Corinthians, whose victory ended their hoodoo in the competition and over a century of mocking from their local, more successful rivals.
This time it was only after the game that Riquelme became the centre of attention, announcing he had nothing more to give, that he felt empty and that he could no longer stay at Boca.