Diego Maradona Continues Feud With Juan Riquelme, Calls Boca Juniors Hero ‘Traitor’


Diego Maradona Continues Feud With Juan Riquelme, Calls Boca Juniors Hero 'Traitor'Juan Roman Riquelme and Diego Maradona are two alpha-males of Argentine soccer, but their long-running feud is threatening to divide one of the country's most prestigious clubs.

Both Maradona and Riquelme have worn the famous blue and yellow jersey of Boca Juniors. Riquelme is today's hero, while Maradona is the icon of yesteryear.

Riquelme recently led Boca to the final of the 2012 Copa Libertadores, but the Argentines lost to Brazil's Corinthians. Had Boca won, it would have been Riquelme's fourth continental triumph with the club.

After the final, he claimed he was empty and had nothing more to give to the club. He said he would leave the club, and fans protested both inside and outside Boca's home stadium. He is rumored to be considering joining clubs in the Middle East or Brazil as a free agent. Boca fans may not be ready to watch a club legend walk out the door, but the outspoken Maradona felt differently about the matter.

"If one wants to fight with Maradona, that's not important to me," the Associated Press reports Maradona said on Radio Metro. "But what you can't do is be a traitor to the fans at Boca."

"You can't be empty just after losing the final of the Copa Libertadores," Maradona said. "If you're empty, then fill up the tank."

Maradona and Riquelme have had their problems in the past, most notably when Maradona was head coach of Argentina's national team. The two clashed in 2009, and Riquelme immediately retired from international duty.

Maradona is also a free agent after being fired last week as manager of the United Arab Emirates' Al Wasl FC, and there are rumors that he could return to Boca in some capacity. If he becomes an employee — manager even — of the club, it will be interesting to see how he treats Riquleme if and when he visits La Bonbonera. Will Maradona follow the fans' lead and greet Riquelme as a returning hero? Or will the feud continue? Only time will tell.

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