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Alex picks Riquelme as man to watch

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Jun 2012

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Corinthians star Alex has identified Juan Roman Riquelme as Boca Juniors’ biggest weapon in the Copa Libertadores final.

The Brazilians meet Boca in the first leg of the South American showpiece on Wednesday, after battling to a 2-1 aggregate victory over the Copa holders Santos in the previous round.

Boca, meanwhile, impressed in disposing of highly-rated Universidad de Chile without conceding a goal.

Riquelme has been one of the tournament’s outstanding players, spearheading Boca’s bid to win the title they last lifted in 2007.

Alex explained that the 34-year-old playmaker would be the man to watch in the Bombonera, and should command much respect as Santos star Neymar.

“We have to try and mark him as a team, as we did with Neymar in the semi-final,” Alex said.

“It needs more than one player’s assistance to do that. The whole Boca team has to be marked hard to stop the ball going to Riquelme’s feet, he knows all too well what to do with it.

Alex, who lifted the Copa Libertadores and Club World Cup in 2006 with Internacional, said playing in Boca’s legendary home stadium held no fear for the Brazilians.

“With all due respect to Boca, and to you guys, why can’t we (win)? Logically we can win. We will come on to the pitch determined to play a great game,” he said.

Alex joined Corinthians in 2011 after two years in Russia with Spartak Moscow, and he played a key role in the club’s Brazilian Serie A win last term.

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