Boca Juniors coach Carlos Ischia has received some positive news with playmaker Juan Román Riquelme set to return to the side in time for next week's crucial Copa Libertadores match against Maracaibo.

Riquelme has made big steps towards full fitness during the last week, and could play some part in Saturday's game against Newell's Old Boys, although his first start on his return is likely to be reserved for the Maracaibo clash.

"I am a hard head because I would like to play on both Saturday and Tuesday, but it is Tuesday that is the most important match," he told Radio Del Plata. "I do not know who said that I am going to play on Saturday... I trained with the ball and I am improving. I have been able to do things that I wasn't able to do in the last few days and there were no problems, so I am content."

In Riquelme's absence, Boca has slipped four points shy of Argentine league leader River Plate, and Riquelme believes that the good form of their great rivals is down to the quality of their goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.

"If they are first then it is because they are doing things better than the rest of us. They have a goalkeeper that is the best in Argentina. Carrizo gives them a lot of security and confidence. It seems that the River goal gets smaller and smaller," he explained.

Finally, Riquelme admitted that he had considered retirement over the last year, but is now ready to help Boca and the Argentina national team to future success.

"I did think about finishing my career, but I still have a lot left in me. I want to help defend the Libertadores and see if I can continue in good form to be considered for the next World Cup.

"The most certain thing to me is that I will retire in the shirt of Boca. There were offers from the United States and England, but I am very happy here. Another important thing is the Olympic Games, a tournament that I need to win. Hopefully Argentina will have all the players available that Basile loves," he concluded.

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