Connect to share and comment
* Riquelme to start training on Monday
* Re-unites with successful coach (Adds details, quotes)
By Luis Ampuero
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Boca Juniors have welcomed back midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme seven months after he walked out of the club due to differences with former coach Julio Cesar Falcioni.
"After two and a half hours with Riquelme, the board has decided unanimously that given the player's will to resume training with the squad he should be part of (Boca's) professional squad from Monday," club president Daniel Angelici told a news conference on Friday.
The former Argentina playmaker returns on the same terms as his former contract which was brought to a close when he walked out in July on the opening day of the 'Final', the second of two championships in the season.
"In the coming days, Riquelme will be doing pre-season training and during that time he won't be drawing a salary," added Angelici.
"We know he is not a savior but that he is an important player, all the coaches in Argentine football say so. Riquelme said he was available to the coaching staff and on Monday morning he'll be at the club."
The 34-year-old midfielder quit Boca the night they lost the South American Libertadores Cup final to Corinthians of Brazil in Sao Paulo, having disagreed with Falcioni's tactics.
Falcioni's contract was not renewed at the end of the "Inicial" championship in December, paving the way for the return of the club's most successful coach, Carlos Bianchi, who steered Boca to a string of titles with Riquelme as his midfield general between 1998 and 2001.
Riquelme turned down the chance to return to Boca right after Bianchi's appointment in December but the 63-year-old coach said he had received a phone call from the midfielder last week saying he had changed his mind.
Riquelme's call came after Boca had fallen to their second defeat in three January friendlies against their arch-rivals River Plate.
"He has realised that at 34 he doesn't have to stop playing football ... Roman has a lot to give to any team, as long as he's in good shape," Bianchi said.
Bianchi and Riquelme shared in two Libertadores Cup wins, one Intercontinental Cup victory and three Argentine league titles at Boca before the player spent five years in Spain with Barcelona and then Villarreal.
Riquelme led Boca to another two league crowns and one Libertadores Cup triumph after his return in 2007.
Boca open their "Final" championship campaign at home to Quilmes in La Bombonera on Saturday.
(Writing by Rex Gowar in London; Editing by Ian Ransom)