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Rediff.com  » Sports » Riquelme quits Argentina, blames Maradona

Riquelme quits Argentina, blames Maradona

March 11, 2009 10:01 IST

Playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme quit the Argentine national side for the second time in three years on Tuesday and blamed coach Diego Maradona for his decision.

"The national team is over for me," the former Barcelona and Villarreal player told the Canal 13 television station in an interview. "I will watch the World Cup on the television."

"We don't share the same codes of ethics. While he is the coach of the national team, we can't work together."

The enigmatic Riquelme previously retired after the 2006 World Cup but backtracked less than one year later.

Maradona told the same television station: "I'm very sad that Riquelme does not want to play in my team but I'm not going to cry over spilt milk."

Riquelme, who returned to Boca Juniors last year after falling out with the coaching staff at Villarreal, said he was angry at being left out of the squad for last month's friendly in France and not being told first hand.

He was also upset with comments Maradona made about him in a television interview last week.

"I heard that I wasn't playing against France from [general manager Carlos] Bilardo on the radio and then last week he [Maradona] made comments about my playing style on the television," said Riquelme.

Riquelme has made 50 appearances for Argentina scoring 17 goals. He has been left out of both Argentina's games since Maradona took over because of club commitments.

Without him, Argentina beat Scotland and then France.

Source:
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