Claudio UBEDA comments on generation, U20 World Cup, more


Claudio UBEDA commented on this generation of players, the crisis at the youth level, the U20 World Cup and more.

In an extensive interview with Ole Clarin, Claudio UBEDA spoke about the crisis that is youth Argentine football, whether he will remain coach of the U20 team and it makes for a very interesting read. Here’s what he had to say:

About eliminating Brazil:

Is your heart still hurting like it was after the match ended between Brazil and Colombia?
“My heart ached! The truth is I suffered a lot, I know that my family suffered a lot because they lived everything that was going on around us. Because they hear stuff, because I have kids who are adolescents and it hurts us all when you’re criticized and people don’t know you.”

Do you have a special feeling inside having left Brazil out of the World Cup?
“Yes, the truth is I do. Yes because the match we played against Brazil, we deserved to win. And a few of the Brazilian players ribbed some of our players after the 2-2 draw. And also Argentina vs. Brazil is a clasico and is special. Furthermore because a giant (team) is not at the World Cup and that’s not something small.”

Regarding his job as coach:

It’s been 120 days since you’ve taken over as coach. Are things going your way?
“The most important thing is we have managed to qualify for the World Cup. That was the first step we had to take in what has been a very short period of time working. I have to mention that because Uruguay, who won the tournament, have COITO as a coach and he has been there for more than four years working with the U15 and U17 teams. DUDAMEL in Venezuela is also their senior team coach but has been working with this U20 team for 18 months. There are a few National Team’s like that as well. The only team who had less time than us working together was Bolivia. I think when it comes to youth teams, it’s fundamental to work together for a long time. Miracles don’t happen overnight.”

You didn’t arrive to the Sudamericano in good shape. What do you have to do well in order to arrive in better shape for the World Cup?
“It’s in May… Maybe we have a lot of time, we have to keep training a lot, we have to play more friendly matches in order for the players to get more comfortable because there’s a lot of players who are in the reserves. Some play a lot and others don’t. It’s not the same to play a practice behind closed doors than it is to play a friendly match.”

Coaching at the World Cup:

Do you see yourself coaching the team in South Korea or do you have doubts?
“Today, I am the coach of the National Team and I have a contract until October 2017. And my goal is to coach the team at the World Cup. In the little time we’ve been together, we’ve been very serious and very responsible, dedicated. I want to stay, I want to coach at the World Cup because I know how much reaching it has cost us and we deserve the opportunity.”

If it would be a mistake to change coaches:
“It’s difficult for me to answer because I’m in the middle of it all. But when a coaching decision is made, especially regarding youth teams, you have to take it seriously, to help shape players for the senior team, you have to support the project. The goal, aside from just qualifying for the World Cup, is that in a short time, players like Lautaro MARTINEZ, FOYTH and others can be part of the senior team.”

Claudio Ubeda U20 World Cup
Claudio Ubeda, the man who will lead Argentina at the U20 World Cup

Projects at youth level:

Stability must be brought to the projects:
“Clearly, yes. For that, there must be continuity in the work being done and the examples are clear: PEKERMAN is the best example of what we should have and that’s what Uruguay, Germany, Venezuela and others copied.”

Germany did just that and are world champions at senior level:
“Exactly. Even more, two nights ago at the hotel I spoke with the Germany U20 coaches, they were in Quito to watch the rivals for the World Cup and also to see how the South American players trained. We have to learn to keep growing and learning. Not only the players but also the coaches and managers. You have to keep evolving.”

Crisis of Argentine football:

How do you stop the crisis at youth levels, the crisis which hasn’t stopped since TOCALLI left in 2007?
“Time is what is needed. You can’t make miracles overnight. The fact that Venezuela is as equal to Argentina is because they’ve put in place a project. There are many teams which have evolved in South America because they put in the work throughout the years. And in Argentina they think that after the PEKERMAN era, you would just pick the players and they would compete but it’s not like that.”

“We believed that just because we are Argentine’s we were going to keep having the best players and that’s it. But that’s a big mistake. You have to work. During the chats with the players, we tell the kids to keep in mind the history behind the shirt, that we have to remember the 1986 generation who knew how to wear the shirt. And also this generation, with MESSI and MASCHERANO, who know how to wear the shirt.”

It gets repeated that Argentina just have immense talent but the results at the youth level don’t show that
“Chickens don’t lay golden eggs, that’s the problem. There are times where you get CAMBIASSO, MILITO, RIQUELME, SORIN. But there are times where generations just don’t shine.”


  1. The truth is all we really produce are forwards and defensive midfielders…guys that dream of being forwards but no real skill. You would have to go back 15 years to find a Roberto Ayala…
    The reason being is goal scorers get the big transfer fees and glory…But when you line up a bunch of b players with world class forwards you get nothing. They don’t score with no service…simple as that…we do not glorify players doing all the little things that win games. Thats why we lose against shitty teams and don’t dominate the way you would think on paper.

  2. just read that new interview of Bauza.
    I am a teacher in my profession. I teach some difficult kids who are incapable of learning, but never in my life would I say to them you are not “good enough” especially not to some students who try with all they got to do well. Tagliafico is such a guy, like him or not as a player, one thing nobody can’t deny is is professionalism and his desire to give his life on the pitch. To crush him like this makes me so angry, I wish I were near this motherf***er to beat his a** to oblivion.

    • Exactly Ghostdeini.

      Seriously I think Mundo should initiate some kind of boycott NT games as general critic of the coach.

      • True Gonzalo,
        Thats a practical suggestion! Instead of complaining about the team selection, the fans should think of some concrete action. Players, football association, coaches, technical staff, media, fans, they all together constitute the sports culture of a country. When we cannot trust the first four, media and fans should do something!

    • There is no way Rojo and Mas are world class for the left-back position. Decent at best, not world class. Heck, Rojo is not even a fullback. Bauza fails his own logic test. At the very least, as a former defender he ought to do better when evaluating players playing in defence.

  3. “Even more, two nights ago at the hotel I spoke with the Germany U20 coaches, they were in Quito to watch the rivals for the World Cup and also to see how the South American players trained”

    They are scarry. The Germans;)

    • When ze Germans want to improve something, they just do. It’s not about if they “can” or not, they just do that. Their drive for discipline and improvement is just crazy. Not just in Soccer, but in every aspect of life.

    • Gonzalo
      Yes they are scary.
      They have this super scout Urs Siegenthaler(who is actually Swiss)and his team scout all the teams around the world, even how they shoot penalties. They built tons of files and suggest to the coach how to play.
      We don’t even scout our own players let alone other teams.
      they maximize their value while we undermine ours.

      • I know guys I know. Just Germans. Maximum of profesionalism, pedantry and planning. Always model to follow, however, unsurpassed in this point.

        Light years ahead of us.

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