One of the most intelligent people in Argentine football and World Cup hero Jorge VALDANO has spoken about what it was like winning the World Cup in 1986, what went wrong in 1982, Lionel MESSI and this World Cup.
In an interview with El Pais, VALDANO stated that what is being asked of from MESSI is not fair, he discussed how he cried like a child in a park after having won the World Cup and much more. Here’s what he had to say:
Does it benefit Argentina that their biggest stars are without any official matches?
“If I were MESSI, I would start the preseason for the World Cup in Russia right now, taking into account that Barcelona no longer play big games. I would concentrate on reaching the World Cup physically impeccable. There are many ways to go up against competition and also you can do a more demanding job during the week and play games with a bigger workload in order to get there (to the World Cup) in the best possible way.”
How do you see the Argentina National Team and MESSI at the 2018 World Cup?
“MESSI is being asked for things you ask a team and not a single man. He is the great captain of this team and now we have to find a team that is capable of understanding the genius. It is not always easy to play with a genius and that is why it is very important for everyone to know how to strengthen that weapon (MESSI) that distinguishes the Argentina National Team. The competitiveness of the Argentine players is seen every week in hundreds of different cases around the world, we are going to trust Argentina’s race and genetics.”
What expectations do you have for the World Cup?
“I generate expectations out of those who play well. Once more Spain, in a methodical way has become an example; I expect things from Germany, I expect things from Brazil because Tite is doing a great job. Argentina are among the favorites and let’s not forget that this generation are runners-up of a World Cup.”
Why wasn’t Argentina able to get past the second round of Spain in 1982 after being champions in 1978?
“I don’t have a theory that explains why the best players of 1978 and some of the best ones of 1986 were unable to have a better tournament in 1982. MARADONA was very young and [Mario] KEMPES was beginning to decline. This finally became a problem when it was time for the tournament. Also, there was a big distraction that was the Malvinas/Falklands war and that put football secondary and in a way, it interfered.”
What did you first think of when you scored a goal in the final of Mexico 1986?
“The first thing that came to my mind was “this is not happening to me.” I think happiness has some sort of limit and that exceeded that limit. I didn’t think it was real. When I got to the dressing room I was sitting on the floor, one arm holding [Ricardo] GIUSTI and the other [Julio] OLARTICOECHEA. Both of them crying and me trying not to cry. After that, when I arrived in Madrid, my brother had sent me tapes with songs and messages from Argentina.
“One morning I put on my walkman and went for a run and in the middle of the messages was recorded my goal in the World Cup, commentated by Jose Maria MUNOZ. Right then I started crying like a kid. I had to hide in the middle of the park in order to cry.”