He said Real Madrid is same when Cristiano Ronaldo is absent.
He said this in a chat with fourfourtwo.com, in which he spoke about the importance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to their teams.
Riquelme, who made 51 appearances for his nation, said Messi’s absence reduced Argentina to being just like any other team.
And he feels the same happens to Madrid, who are top of LaLiga, without four-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo.
“Argentina without Messi is a normal team, he is of course the best player in the world,” Riquelme told Canal 13.
“The same thing would happen to Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo has scored 19 league goals, four fewer than Messi, to help Madrid top the table ahead of Barcelona.
Argentina are struggling in World Cup qualifiers, sitting fifth in the table with Messi having featured in just five of their 12 matches.