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Feb 9, 2013

Riquelme rejoins Boca Juniors

Argentine midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme has rejoined Boca Juniors, just six months after turning his back on the club.

Riquelme, 34, walked out on Boca in July after falling out with then-coach Julio Cesar Falcioini following a dispute over the tactics employed during the club's South American Libertadores Cup final loss to Corinthians.

The midfielder has been on the sidelines since leaving Boca, but was heavily linked with a return to the club in January after being seen at the training grounds.

Despite insisting he would not go back on his decision to leave Boca, the Argentine side has revealed Riquelme will resume the terms of his previous contract, although he will have to prove himself to earn a salary.

"After two and a half hours with Riquelme, the board has decided unanimously that given the player's will to resume training with the squad he should be part of (Boca's) professional squad from Monday," Boca president Daniel Angelici said. "In the coming days, Riquelme will be doing pre-season training and during that time he won't be drawing a salary.

"We know he is not a saviour but that he is an important player, all the coaches in Argentine football say so. Riquelme said he was available to the coaching staff and on Monday morning he'll be at the club."

With former coach Carlos Bianchi now at the helm of Boca, Riquelme was persuaded to play under the coach who brought the club great success between 1998 and 2001.

"He has realised that at 34 he doesn't have to stop playing football... Roman has a lot to give to any team, as long as he's in good shape," Bianchi said.

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