(Spanish CNN) — With a difference of just one day, Argentine football will experience two mega-events this weekend and both will see farewells to renowned and transcendent footballers and the idols of their respective clubs.
They are Maximiliano “La Fiera” Rodríguez and Juan Román Riquelme, who also had careers in the Argentine national team and abroad. Rodríguez shone at Newell’s Old Boys, Espanyol de Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool and Peñarol de Uruguay. Riquelme did it at Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Villarreal and Argentinos Juniors.
Both will have a star guest, Lionel Messi. The captain of the Argentine national team is spending his days off in Argentina, before joining Inter Miami, his newest soccer destination, in MLS in the United States.
Maximiliano Rodríguez’s farewell
La Fiera said goodbye to professional football in December 2021 in a match that took place precisely at the Marcelo Bielsa stadium in Rosario. The match corresponded to the Professional League, in which Newell’s drew 0-0 with Banfield.
This farewell event will take place this Saturday at the same location. The just over 40,000 slots quickly sold out.
The heart of the event will be the match that one team from the Argentine team will play against another who will wear the Newell’s Old Boys jersey.
- The match will be played at 7.15 p.m. in Argentina and will be broadcast from 6 p.m. on the Star+ platform – available in Latin America.
- Mexico: 4:15 p.m. (Mexico City time)
- Colombia: 5:15 p.m. (Bogotá time)
- United States: 6:15 p.m. (Miami time)
Rodríguez will play one time in Newell’s jersey and another in the Argentina team’s jersey.
Besides Messi, friends, ex-teammates and footballers with whom he shared his brilliant career will be present.
Among them, the current technical staff of the Argentine team: Lionel Scaloni, Walter Samuel, Roberto Ayala and Pablo Aimar. Besides Gabriel Heinze, Mauricio Pochettino, Ignacio Scocco, Esteban Cambiasso, Ariel Ortega, Fernando Belluschi, Fernando Gago, Javier Saviola, Andrés D’Alessandro and Justo Villar.
Newell’s team will be managed by Gerardo “Tata” Martino, and in the Argentine team the coach will be José Pékerman.
Marcelo Bielsa, Ángel Di María, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Cristian “Kily” González are other guests, but they have not confirmed their attendance. It is also possible that the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia, and the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, will be present.
Maxi Rodríguez appeared in three World Cups: Germany 2006 (his goal against Mexico was chosen as the best of this competition), South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.
Farewell to Riquelme
Unlike Maxi Rodríguez’s farewell announced for several months, Riquelme’s mega-event was confirmed a few days ago. The sale of pitches took place this Thursday and Friday online.
A jam-packed Bombonera is expected with over 50,000 fans.
Juan Román Riquelme will have his farewell party with the presence of Lionel Messi
The central part of the party will be a match played by a team wearing the Boca Juniors shirt and another from the Argentine team.
Boca Juniors haven’t officially confirmed the match schedule or who will be in charge of its TV broadcast.
- According to the Telam agency, the match will be played at 4:00 p.m. in Argentina and will be broadcast by TV Pública.
- Mexico: 1:00 p.m. (Mexico City time)
- Colombia: 2:00 p.m. (Bogotá time)
- United States: 3:00 p.m. (Miami time)
Riquelme has confirmed that Messi will be present at the event. Plus, Scaloni and his coaching staff.
The coaches will be Alfio Basile, Carlos Bianchi and Pékerman.
Former Argentina national team teammates expected to attend include Di María, Heinze, Lavezzi, Saviola, Lucho González, Sergio Romero, Juan Pablo Sorín and Javier Mascherano.
Former Boca teammates expected to go are Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Gustavo Barros Schelotto, Hugo Ibarra, Sebastián Battaglia, Sergio “Manteca” Martínez, Roberto Abbondanzieri, Blas Giunta, Fernando Gago, Nicolás Burdisso, Marcelo Delgado, Raúl Cascini, Mauricio Serna , Jorge Bermúdez, Leandro Paredes, Éver Banega, Clemente Rodríguez, Claudio Morel Rodríguez, Antonio Barijho, Óscar Córdoba, Daniel “Cata” Díaz, Pablo Ledesma, Rodrigo Palacio.
Riquelme has only played in one World Cup in his career, Germany 2006.
In both events, a musical performance is scheduled before and after the event. At the end of the two matches, the two idols will say a few words on a stage set up on the playing field.