World Cup countdown: 50 days, Argentina moment number 49, Roberto AYALA


As part of the 50 days, 50 Argentina World Cup moments, we will be counting down the top 50 Argentina moments at a World Cup using the daily number.

We are just 49 days until the start of the FIFA World Cup and in 49th place we have Roberto AYALA who scored for Argentina in the 49th minute against Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

A match which proved to be the end of an older generation for Argentina came in 2006 and it was only fitting that a leader of that generation scored. An absolutely nailbiting match which ended in heartbreak.

Hernan CRESPO, Roberto AYALA and Juan Pablo SORIN just to name a few lead an entire Argentine generation. CRESPO and AYALA were part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad with SORIN being a key figure under both Marcelo BIELSA and Jose PEKERMAN. When Argentina took on Germany in the quarter finals of the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, there was a sense of security as many of these players had been together since the youth squads. The team was out there with veterans lead by Juan Roman RIQUELME, playing a style which caught the attention of the entire footballing world.

Here was Argentina’s starting eleven for that match:

2. Roberto AYALA
3. Juan Pablo SORIN
4. Fabricio COLOCCINI
6. Gabriel HEINZE
9. Hernan CRESPO
10. Juan Roman RIQUELME
11. Carlos TEVEZ
22. Luis “Lucho” GONZALEZ

It took until the 49th minute of the match for us to get our first goal and was it ever worth it. A corner kick delivered by Juan Roman RIQUELME and a leaping header by Roberto AYALA. After that came moments Argentina fans all around the world would like to forget. Goalkeeper Roberto ABBONDANZIERI having to be substituted off due to injury, Juan Roman RIQUELME being replaced by Esteban CAMBIASSO while the likes of Pablo AIMAR and Lionel MESSI remained on the bench. A potential penalty on Maxi RODRIGUEZ not given and of course two missed penalties by Esteban CAMBIASSO and Roberto AYALA himself.

A team which had a lot of promise but fell short will forever be remembered maybe not for this match in particular, but for the style they brought to that tournament.

If you missed it, here was our World Cup moment number 50:
50: Sergio ROMERO gets 50th cap vs. Switzerland at 2014 FIFA World Cup.


  1. I believed that Veron-Riquelme-Messi could have ruled the world-cup competition. Besides, they played together in 2007 during the copa and it was impressive. In 2006, I would have the following 10 players ex-goalkeeper as the starting XI: Zanetti,Ayala,Henize,Sorin-Veron,Maschereno,Cambiasso-Riquelme-Messi,Crespo.

    • actually Lucio Gonzalez was good choice ahead of Veron in 2006 WC.Notable absences were Zanetti and Messi. Saviola,Tevez, ‘n J. Cruz were all above messi to partner Crespo. what a non sense from Pekerman. He dropped zanetti to play Colocini, ‘ n Scaloni. wtf? Pekerman panics in tense situations and loses his right mind to make decissions. He subbed Riqueleme while Germany midfield was struggling against us like they always do against Italy and Spain.

      I guess the ptessure of Local Medias, coupled with Maradona golden hand goal that eventually led to quarter final Jinx have been hugely affecting Passerella, Bielissa ‘n Pekerman. Even Sabella @z 14 WC final lost his coolness by subing Lavezzi for Aguero, E. Perez for glass Gago.

      Hope Sampa learns some lessons from his predecessors. As such, Let Messi be the false ‘9. Merely b/ce you have million forwards, even if the rest of the world is struggling in that department, doesn’t mean that you have to have them altogether.

      Mr. sampa Ignore all of the strikers except may be only one of Fit Aguero/Higuein/Bendetto/Icardi fir tactical and plan B choices. You better have faith on Pavon, Perotti, Di Maria ‘n J. Correa to partner Messi. I still believe the midfield should suck the talent of Ascacibar, Locelso ‘n Fully fit Meza also accompanied with Biglia( only healthy and fit), Banega,’n E. Perez. Acuna and Ansaldi are the best Full backs you have. If not, Mercado and Tagliafico according to their current form- kind of chosing the best worst. F**k that egoist Garay and focus on Fazio,ota, Pezella and Mercado for CB role.

  2. Probably best squad we ever had in recent years but wasted because of bad coaching.aimar and Messi on the bench and not picking zanetti big disappointment

  3. When you had the chance of finishing off the germans guess who mr Pekermen decided to send off of the bench? Lionel Messi was already the best striker at that age in the whole Argentine team but nope our coaches can’t stand Argentina winning the world cup… So he decides to Sub riquelme and keeps messi on the bench and senda Julio cruz aka half season wonder in !!

  4. Always opposite brazil own goal or missed penalty in World Cup qualification and copa america
    In the game against Germany klose abandoned and he hit the head also missed penalty
    ayala a A weak defender in big games

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