On this day 20 years, a young Argentina side led by Juan Roman Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Esteban Cambiasso and other rising talent under the guidance of Jose Pekerman won the World Youth Championship, right here on Malaysian soil. Some of you might remember, some may not. Not too worry, check out the following link as I’ve written lengthy piece on These Football Times on the team’s entire journey.
How a star-studded Argentina lifted the Under-20 World Cup in 1997
Wow, that was a great generation with Riquelme, Aimar, Samuel, Placente and Cambiasso. I remember that famous French team really impressive with players like Anelka, Henry, Trezeguet, Silvestre, Christanval, Gallas, Sagnol, Luccin, ..etc.(most of them played in big clubs and became international players, some of them even became world-cup champion and vice-champion) outcasted by far other teams but finally eliminated very early in the competition.
Looking back, I am happy for Samuel and Cambiasso, with the career that they have accomplished. However it was very unfortunate to what happened to Aimar(injuries) and Riquelme(bad luck until he joined Villareal), who used to be my favorite n10 along with Zidane, because they could have done so much more in their clubs or with the national team. To me, they were both born in the “bad” timing because during early 2000s, most of the European coaches prefer playing in 4-4-2(Arsenal, Manchester) or very conservative 4-3-3(Mourinho’s Chelsea), using 1-2 box-2-box and 1 defensive midfielder, 2 wingers and 1 powerful forward, with or without another striker. Box-2-box type players were much more popular than creative players, which is really a shame.
Fortunately today, inspiring from Spain, the n10 may be deployed as false 9, central midfielder, false winger or even deep-lying playmaker. I am glad that creative players like Pastore, Banega, Ozil, Isco, Kroos, Iniesta always exist.
Where they are? Interesting article from Ole
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