Diego Maradona has attempted to silence the calls for the return to the Argentina team of playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.
“It’s a closed subject,” the Argentina coach told reporters. “I called Riquelme up (last March) and he didn’t come. I love how he plays and I hope he returns to his best form for Boca Juniors who need him.”
Local media has reported that Maradona could come under pressure from the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to recall Riquelme. But the coach claimed that he would do things his way.
Maradona rounded on critics of his selection policy. He has called up 100 players during his 15 months at the helm, struggling to find a settled side during a poor World Cup qualifying campaign.
“I don’t have to bow to anyone and I’ll choose the player who is in best form,” Maradona said. “Argentine football is not forgotten,” he added, referring to the domestic league.
Riquelme fell out with Maradona over criticism from the coach of his slow style of play.