Gabriel BATISTUTA talks not playing with Hernan CRESPO, MESSI


Argentina legend Gabriel BATISTUTA took to the media to discuss a long time topic involving himself, Hernan CRESPO and Marcelo BIELSA.

The second all time leading goal scorer for Argentina has come out and said that he wanted to play with Hernan CRESPO up front but that it was Marcelo BIELSA who decided not to play them together. (more specifically at the 2002 World Cup). Batigol also commented on Lionel MESSI surpassing him and becoming Argentina’s all time goal scorer.Here’s what he had to say:

Gabriel Batistuta Hernan Crespo Argentina
Hernan Crespo comes on for Gabriel Batistuta at the 2002 World Cup.

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Hernan CRESPO and Marcelo BIELSA:

“The only one who thought we couldn’t play together was the man in charge, BIELSA. I told him several times. He was committed to his idea but he made a mistake. No one scored more goals than us. And we played a part. Hernan also liked to get out of the area to play… There was no problem between us, we got along well.”

“BIELSA marked me a lot. He taught me that I have to train everyday and to be there 30 minutes before, to be careful.”

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Lionel MESSI surpassing him as Argentina top goal scorer:

“It hurt a little, yes. A lot, no, just a little. It’s a title that I had and it’s not anything. You go around the world as Argentina’s all time top goal scorer. The advantage that I have is that I’m only behind an alien.”


  1. There’s a lot talk about Messi and Dybala playing together. Dybala needs to learn to adapt to Messi first the chemistry will come naturally. But most importantly why should Sampaoli try a poor form Dybala with an inform Messi? Dybala needs to recapture his best form at Juventus first.
    I want the Messi Dybala Aguero combo even if it works eventually in training, I’d prefer it to be kept as surprise secret weapon for the KO stages. Not now.

  2. It wasn’t a mistake not to play both as they were too similar, I think the biggest mistake was that he didn’t prepare well his players, many of them like Veron, Ortega, Batigol and Claudio Lopez were not fit due to fatigue and injuries.

    His other mistake was his choice on the subs: Cannigia didn’t play 1 minute, Aimar tried his best but he was a bit green. Overall none of them was able to make the difference. It would be a different story if Riquelme and Saviola were chosen. And we saw in the competition that it was always young players like Ronaldinho and Ballack who made the difference.

    Lot of regrets for this team which must be the most balanced national team of the last 30 years. Hard to have a national team with world-class players in all position.

    • Bati and Crespo were very different. Batistuta was every defense’s nightmare. Crespo was poacher and Batigol was predator beast, an athletic, with an unstoppable shot and great aerial powerhouse.

    • Cannigia got injured in a friendly game right before worldcup. Bielsas faith in Cannigia was because of his uniqueness. Something like that was his explanation for taking an injured caniggia to the worldcup. Personally I liked the idea of Cannigias call-up. He was in a great form in Scotland.

  3. What a great team on Paper it was, 2002 was a catastrophe, Well the team was full of World Class players from top to bottom. Apart from may be Goal keepers. Bati – Crespo combo well what done is done. It will hunt us forever. We couldn’t see these 2 monster Stickers working in tandem.

    • Agreed, he is not someone ready to make any compromise. He is too attached to the Dutch total football, his system has no room for traditional playmaker. He always use the same 11 players during the entire season.

      He has lot of influence on the football with his tactical philosophy and he helps young players to grow. But not sure if he can still win anything in coaching in this way.

  4. I am very shocked that the coaching staff is going for a totally different squad. That’s a big mistake!!!, the team needs play time for better understanding. Sampa should have made more changes in the Russia game. Dybala had only 5 mins, that means he is not part of Sampa plan. I am not a coach but it is obvious that Dybala could bring more than LoCelso. He can play as a playmaker the same way he plays in Juventus. If we want to put Messi closer to the opponent’s box we must have someone that can feed him. The best candidate that we have now is Dybala. 10 years later Messi will say the same thing that Batigol did.
    That’s the team that I would dream of:
    Acuna—– Biglia—–Perez—–Salvio

    • I disagree.

      The coach is having training sessions for those things. i.e. building chemistry between them, tactical drills etc.

      But he needs to check players, especially new ones in friendlies. Once he decides which players fits his system, he will have three full weeks before world cup to set up his team.

    • Dybala cannot do Lo Celso job. Dybala is a luxury forward type, he offers very little defensively, and when he tries he fouls. Dybala is a forward, false 9 enganche at best. The issue is that he plays identical role to Messi in the team, so like Aimar in the Riqulme days, he is getting benched.. the good news is that he is young, so he will have his time as Messi starts to fade away.

      Lo Celso is exactly the kind of player we need, Enzo Perez too. lo Celso is young, coveres a ton of space, defends well, holds rhe ball well, plays smart high pocession passes and keeps his head up. The main issue last friendly was that he played too deep and our back line was very high. Otamnedi and Masch where easentially in line wirh him when we had pocession, and they bypassed him alot instead of respecting his playmaking role. Dimaria being so wide and high also didnt help.. he has hope.

      • Yup Exactly , Dybala for Messi will be like Aimar was to Riquelme, They both play exact same area, Even if Dybala is moved to some other place he wont be able to play his natural best game.

        Lo Celso is an attacking Midfielder who has immense potential he may need time and some matches to gel to the new system & new players surroundings. Lo Celso, Paredes, Lanzini, Ascacibar will have to handle our midfield guard after World cup, Add Lamela too then we can have all variety of midfield players. Left Footed, Right Footed, Hard Tackler, Box to Box. etc.

      • agreed dybala cant do defending like dimaria and lo celso he add goal scoring option.. but it will leave gap between midfield and attack… he dont have pace to play in wing… it will be difficult to play together but hope sampolli have another idea.. if dimaria had bad game he defends well.. look he won ball back in left back position.. against russia.. thats why he plays for wings… he has more pace than gomez and perroti.. but acuna is first choice.. dimaria is second choice for that position..

      • Not like that… Parking bus team like Sweden.. And south American team I would like to start icardi over aguero… Aguero aerial ability is week… Against Germany Spain I would prefer aguero because of his space dribbling… Not guaranteed starter…

    • I haven’t heard f him before today. I have seen his name on some sports websites and he is linked to Mand Utd as you mentioned. Apparently, Man Utd scouts went there and are trying to watch the player. If they are convinced by his performance then it is possible he joins the Red Devils. He plays for a second division team in Argentina.

  5. I was happy after seeing team play. Ofcourse we have limited time and we need more practices. I was impressed with how team recovered the ball and stopped counter. Still i want they master that art. The play Sampa wanna play it will take time to perfection. I think Sampa got his CB already for World Cup and Forward too. But big worry is midfield. I wasn’t impressed with Lo Celso and Kranevitter. YES Kranevitter was solid for hustling and tackling but his movement was poor. He needs to run spaces and make himself available for ball when CB has the ball. About Lo Celso i was disappointed as heck. He was there to create opportunity but he was passing side ways and back. There was no intention for creating any chances. Our midfielder should always pass forward. Try to create chances. That’s what friendly for. I think they should play one more half and Pavon should get chance too. I wanna see if he can offer more than Salvio. Team is getting the idea of what Sampaoli wants to play but it will need time definitely

    • It seems the players have accomplished the primary objective; which is playing as a unit. I really liked how the team played although as most of us noticed there wasn’t much creativity in midfield, but that will arrive very soon. I believe that Enzo could the player we are looking for, the box-2-box creative midfielder, because it all depends on the coach and how he gives instructions to his players. Enzo could do much more than what he did in the last two games as I believe. Look at Aguero for instance, before Pep he looked a very lazy player, but with the instructions of Pep and the fierce competition Kun has changed a lot. Talent could be there but the coach is the deciding factor. Hope we see a more aggressive team vs Nigeria.

    • Our favourite opponent 4 WC matches 4 wins, but in 2011 a fully experimental team were trashed by them: Gabbarini—EMILIANO INSUA-Garay-FEDERICO FAZIO-Zabaleta—Bolatti-TinoCosta-FERNANDO BELLUSCHI-Gaitan-DIEGO PEROTTI—Boselli

  6. what is my concern is romero he is not good with his feet.. and his error was cleared by pezzella.. that is only big concern i have.. we dont have better goal keeper than him?? kranevitter is ok… i think pizzaro will add more quality.. lo celso place… lanzini should tried instead of him… what i liked from lo celso.. he is confident on the ball he never loose the ball and he is going box to box.. thats what sampolli liked from him… he needs time.. and his simple touch pass was excellent.. he always moving… banega dont offer that.. pavon devestating pace he should come us sub he can make difference … enzo doing good job.. but need competion that place hope parades do it.. dimaria had poor game on wing.. but defend well when team need.. gomez and perroti will challenge dimaria place.. other guys played well… looking for next game… and more goals.. now dybala can do the job what messi always does.. and benedeto cement his place instead of higuain.. he needs to score hope he can keep higuain away from this team..

  7. Again on the brink of losing our fantastic duo Messi and Dybla All because of coaches.Insua and Ansaldi should have been tried.Same midfield problem of transition dimaria should not be played as winger his finishing is poor but he is good passer and assister.He should play in midfield as he was against venejuala

  8. By far 2018 world cup edition Albiceleste Jersey is the best of the recent Adidas releases… Spain looks ugly… Germany also not that good honestly… others are average.
    Hopefully our upcoming Away Jersey looks good too… Germany had 2 wonderful recent Away releases… on was green and the other was red.

    • That is right. Bielsa said in one of his interviews Sampa is more flexible than him and tends to change his philosophy with the game change. Hope Sampa will get a way to play Dybala alongside Messi. If he doesn’t succeed in creating that partnership then that will cost us a lot.

      • i hope so… we have two friendlies in march.. and two in june… before world cup starts… i think he will find.. he have less time … but he will come with good tactics… in 2014 we had two friendlies before world cup starts.. dont worry .. i think we had against trid& tob and slovenia… so we have five friendlies before world cup starts

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