Retired Boca Juniors legend Juan Román Riquelme has predicted that his former team are in for a glorious campaign, in a lengthy interview with Fox Sports.
Riquelme, one of the most famous playmaking number 10s in Boca's history, said the Xeneize have had the Superliga wrapped up for months now and predicted Copa Libertadores glory could be coming down the line. Addressing Boca's chances of winning the Libertadores, Riquelme said he had the “illusion” that Boca could catch up to Independiente's record haul – the Rojo currently have seven titles in the tournament, while Boca have six.
“It’s another tournament, a different competition in which you play your peers, depending on how the draw goes. It leaves a little up to chance with who you play. But Boca always have the advantage at home because they play a lot now and they have a long Copa Libertadores, so I see us catching up with Independiente,” he told Fox Sports.
Boca begin their Libertadores campaign when they travel to Peru next Thursday to face Alianza Lima.
Riquelme also commented on the work coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto has put into the team, who top the Superliga with “a large lead” ahead of Talleres and San Lorenzo, in second and third respectively.
He also said Boca should find “tranquility” and even though they don’t play in a particularly attractive style, they “win convincingly.”
“A few months ago it looked like the league was over. For me, Boca has already won, I said it months ago.”
Speaking on the Xeneize squad set-up, Riquelme highlighted the performances of Cristian Pavón and Carlos Tevez.
“I see Pavón playing for the national team, considering we don’t have a Dani Alves. On the right he could help out Messi. There’s only one Dani Alves, and in my footballing opinion we can’t ask Mercado to be Dani Alves, because he’s better at defending than attacking and Pavón is the opposite. Argentina don’t have many right-sided players.”
For more from Riquelme, see Perfil’s coverage.