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Fans plead for Riquelme to stay

10 July 2012-AP

Boca Juniors Juan Roman Riquelme

Show of support ... Boca Juniors fans want Juan Roman Riquelme to stay (Getty Images)

Thousands of Boca Juniors fans have turned out across Argentina, waving blue and yellow club flags and pleading with midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme to stay with the famous Buenos Aires club.

The 34-year-old shocked fans last week after Boca lost the final of the Copa Libertadores, saying he had nothing left to give to the club and was stepping away.

Several South American clubs immediately showed interest in signing Riquelme, including Brazil side Flamengo and Tigre of Argentina.

About two dozen groups of fans gathered across the country on Monday, the largest of which took place at Boca's Bombonera stadium.

Riquelme gave no indication on Monday that he had changed his mind. Riquelme's departure is thought to be linked to differences over playing tactics he has with Boca Juniors coach Julio Cesar Falcioni.

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