BUENOS AIRES, June 21 Midfielder Juan Roman
Riquelme has been included in Argentina's Copa America squad
less than a year after announcing his international retirement.
Riquelme, who scored both goals as Boca Juniors beat Gremio
2-0 away to win the South America's Libertadores Cup on
Wednesday, was in a 22-man-squad named announced by the
Argentine Football Assocation (AFA).
Riquelme said in September that he would not play for his
country again because the criticism of his performances was
affecting his mother's health.
He left Spanish club Villarreal in February after falling
out with coach Manuel Pellegrini and returned on loan to Boca,
the club where he made his name.
He has been in inspirational form since then, finishing the
Libertadores with a tally of eight goals. A recall had been
Television pictures showed Riquelme boarding the team bus as
the squad headed for the Venezuelan oil city of Maracaibo, where
they face Paraguay, Colombia and United States in their
Villarreal, who still own Riquelme, said earlier that they
had no plans to reincorporate him into the team.
"The club is looking for the best way out for the player,"
said director Jose Manuel Llaneza.
"He has demonstrated once again at Boca Juniors that he is
one of the top players in the world, but that doesn't change the
fact Villarreal has made an irreversible decision about his
"The good thing is that the way he is playing will make it
much easier to sort it out."
Striker Javier Saviola, who has had an unhappy season with
Barcelona, was left out of the squad -- the only surprise
Midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who had been recalled by
coach Alfio Basile following an absence of more than two years,
Strikers Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Hernan Crespo were
all included as expected and the latter will play in the
tournament for the first time.
Goalkeepers: Roberto Abbondanzieri (Getafe), Juan Pablo
Carrizo (River Plate), Agustin Orion (San Lorenzo)
Defenders: Roberto Ayala (Valencia), Javier Zanetti (Inter
Milan), Hugo Ibarra (Boca Juniors), Gabriel Milito (Real
Zaragoza), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United), Daniel Diaz (Boca
Juniors), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Luis Gonzalez (Porto), Javier Mascherano
(Liverpool), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Fernando Gago
(Real Madrid), Pablo Aimar (Real Zaragoza), Juan Sebastian Veron
(Estudiantes), Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors)
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Hernan Crespo (Inter
Milan), Diego Milito (Real Zaragoza), Carlos Tevez (West Ham
United), Rodrigo Palacio (Boca Juniors)
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Sao Paulo)