Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Welcomed Back With Open Arms

As you can imagine, the buzz around the Boca Juniors training ground is electric right now. Juan Roman Riquelme, one of the most popular players in the club's history, has returned on loan and is now training full time at the team's Casa Amarilla facility.

Midfielder Jesus Datalo has graciously traded away his number 10 shirt to Riquelme, saying that he didn't mind giving the number to the on-loan Villarreal playmaker. "He's a great player," remarked Datalo, "the shirt belongs to him and Maradona. Hopefully some of his talent rubs off on me."

Riquelmemania, as they're calling it in Argentina, kicks off in earnest this Sunday when Boca host Rosario Central in the second round of the Argentine Clausura. See below for TV info.


What I'll be keeping an eye on through Sunday:

Bolton v. Arsenal
3pm ET, LIVE
FOX Soccer Channel
Even though the Gunners are on form right now, you always have to give Bolton a chance against them. Especially in a one-off game at the Reebok.

Arsenal or Bolton v. Blackburn
7:30am ET, LIVE
FOX Soccer Channel
If Arsenal make it past Bolton, you'd think that Rovers will be looking to give a better account of themselves than when they last played at the Emirates.

Chelsea v. Norwich City
10am ET, LIVE
FOX Soccer Channel
If you're in London, watch Chelsea give Norwich a beatdown, then go catch Badly Drawn Boy while you eat fish and chips.

Inter v. Cagliari
9am ET, LIVE
Aren't you curious to see how many the Nerazzurri can win in a row?

Pachuca v. Pumas
8pm ET, LIVE
Azteca America
The best match-up of the weekend in Mexico.

Lyon v. Lille
12pm ET, Delayed
Setanta Sports USA
Even though they've been off their game lately, you'd think that Lyon would be ready to give a good showing before heading off to Rome next week.

Valencia v. Barcelona
1pm ET, LIVE
WorldSport HD
Let's see what Barca are made of.

Boca Juniors v. Rosario Central
3pm ET, LIVE
FOX Sports en Espanol
[Same Day Delay: 5pm ET on FOX Soccer Channel]
It's still not known how many minutes Riquelme's going to get, he hasn't played a first-team match since December. Nevertheless, expect a rowdy, party-like atmosphere at the Bombonera.

As always, check your local listings for dates and times in your area.


1 comment:

soccermad said...

If they're paying JRR's $4M salary, you reckon he's got some security around him?