I commence the Juan Roman Riquelme death watch. The “man from the stars“, the “big, strolling, beautiful zombie, languid as the smoke off a cigarette“, will soon move off this mortal coil. There can be no other way. Why did Blaise Pascal pass before finishing his Pensees? Why was Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz removed from our time so perfunctorily into his most wise years? Whither ‘Pac and Buddy Holly?
There is but one answer. God the Almighty took them away from us, for the eschaton in which all thing are made right was not yet to come upon earth. There is yet more suffering, more heartbreak, for the faithful to endure so that they may be, through trials and hardships, purified into pure gold.
Juan Roman Riquelme, mark my words, shall slip off our time, but not our hearts, for he has become Icarus, and reached too close to the heavens.
Exiled like Israel from his homeland of the soccer field, left out of every team practice yet cruelly still allowed access to the training facilities, Riquelme awaited redemption. And then it came, in the form of a loan to the club of his heart, Boca Juniors, and (I say as a River Plate believer) a meltingly, staggeringly genius run to the Copa Libertadores championship of all South America with the blue and yellows. Then the clock struck midnight, money became the word on the lips of the heathens and the tribe, and he returned to Villareal, his Babylon, deported to a quaint seaside Spanish siro.
And yet, he was called back for his country, and, given the sword, stabbed into the team of his oppressors, Pelegrini’s Chileans, not once, but again, deeper, deadlier. Shakespearean as it was, nothing else came after. Revenge against the country of your slave master must be savored, because it only lasted for 90 minutes.
Now, the gates have lifted, the captive set free, returning to La Bomberena for the highest transfer fee in Argentine history. I would not buy a ticket for first class on the same flight from Spain to Buenos Aires as him. Nor would I ride in the same limousine, eat at the same cafes, or even use the same shampoo as this “Einstein of the pitch”. For him-who-must-be-named to play for La Boca again would be too perfect. All would be made right before its time.
Juan Roman Riquelme must die. Not by me. By the deep magic of the created universe. The beginning of the Aptura campaign is imminent, and he will play for them, and will them to champions.