Leandro Cufre explains Lionel Messi Argentina World Cup 2006 substituion


Leandro Cufre spoke with Enganche on 947 FM Radio where he explained why Lionel Messi did not play for Argentina vs. Germany at the 2006 World Cup.

CUfre was part of the Argentina team back in 2006 for the World Cup. He only played one game for Argentina which was the 0-0 draw vs. the Netherlands. However, speaking with Enganche, he explained why Lionel Messi was not substituted on for Argentina in the quarter final match vs. Germany where Argentina were eliminated on penalty kicks. Here’s what he had to say:

“Jose (Pekerman) is a gentleman. He never said that Messi was wrapped i cotton to play vs. Germany. He could barely run. He could have said it because the entire country was killing him for it but he decided not to make any excuses.

“If in the 83rd minute Germany was sending crosses into our area, it’s logical that Cruz comes in to help with the aerial game. Now that I’m a coach, I would have done the same. Jose Pekerman, for us, is the biggest coach of all.”


  1. it’s a painful story for all fans… my opinion is don’t post this story again and again. Why hurting our self with keeping a painful memory in our life.Learn the lesson and move on !

    Pekerman has gone to Columbia and Mexico, he ‘s enjoying life. Please stop this repeated post of 2006. Better heading to Copa and WCQ 2021 and WC 2022 without the burden of the past


    this was our line up that day. i have watched dozens of times that game. we played perfect in the first half and we scored in the beginning of second half. i give credit to Pekerman about that.
    after Ayala score our team return to defense. Riquelme and Crespo around 70 minutes get tired from big effort and somewhere there Pekerman lost it.
    the substitutes didn t help. Tevez was alone without help in front and as result of that the team was waiting in defense. it was matter of time for the Germans to score after 70 minute and it just happened at 80 minute.

    after that we try just bring the game to penalty kicks and try our luck there.
    everything else is just history.

    just because i want to be fair with Pekerman i will not ignore to give him 1 credit that change our plans the fact that he lost 1 substitute from change ABBONDANZIERI because one asshole German injure him bad. he send him to hospital actually. the shitty referee didn t give even foul in that play.

    anyway. old sad stories.

  3. CUFRE is said just NONSENSE.

    only a stupid can try excuse Pekerman for the tragic mistake against Germany.

    “Now that I’m a coach I would have done the same”

    if you really believe what you said then i am sure your coach career will be limited.
    not that in your football player career you was something extraordinary of course.

  4. Did Messi deserve more playing time? Yes of course! Messi was exactly what was missed in this team: acceleration and dribbling. The rest is perfect: all players are smart, creative and disciplined, knows how to protect the ball and to play collectively. They just need a young fast player in attack who can create the surprise. It’s like Mbappe with France in 2018. We never know, if he played more frequently, then he might not get injured and totally fit for the Germany. I remember during the 2nd half, the German totally isolated Riquelme and if Messi were there, he could have made the difference on counter attacks. This team was definitely rich of players quality and diversity, you have young talents like Mascherano, Messi and Tevez, the most creative midfielders like Riquelme and Cambiasso, fighters like Sorin and Heinze, the best center back Ayala, one of the best striker Crespo and powerful shoot from Maxi Rodriguez. I even think that it was the best team of the last 2 decades.

  5. The answer is there in Cufre’s word. The real problem is hidden in those words..

    Pekerman and the coaching staff was planning to play to defend. They were more worried about crosses Germans make. They could have also thought about how to dominate the game. I don’t know what were they defending. It was 1-1 already. What are you defending? Mindset of coaching staff have already changed. At that point you already lost the game. The tie-breaker was the formality to close what was inevitable.

  6. So the only tournament to look forward to this year is the Olympics – if that does happen. Other would be WCQ as they start (hopefully by June since window is available and CA pushed to 2021).

  7. Vs Germany, if I’m not mistaken Leandro Cufre went down in football history books as the first ever player to receive a red card after a game is finished.

  8. Messi’s body language is of a player frustrated that he was not allowed onto the pitch. Not one of a player who was injured and wrapped up in cotton wool. Pekerman was a gentleman and so was his assistant Hugo Tocalli but they made two huge mistakes in that quarter final. Ones they had repeated before in friendlies.

    Removing Riquelme and the ability to retain the ball and win free kicks and likewise with Messi not coming on for Cruz. The commentators at the time were bewildered as were most supporters. That team had a great chance to win the World Cup being so well balanced and scored two of the best goals in WC history if not the best team goal ever with Cambiasso. It was thrown away.

  9. the news tat cr7 turned all his hotels into hospital was completely fake as marca withdrew the report it is yet another PR stunt by his team similar to the nepal earthquake donation damn these are one of the main reasons ronaldo has soo many followers his agent mendes knws all sorts of tactics to milk a grave situation so tat cristiano and him can profit utter shameless.
    if only messi had an agent like mendes he cud have become literally a triillionaire

  10. Slowly but surely, I saw it coming, I am HUGELY disappointed that Copa has been postponed until 2021….. I was so looking forward to Copa and the Euros, so much so that I planned my summer vacation around it. Euros in the morning and Copa at night and then the Olympics……football galore.

    There is a saying, ” I want and GOD wants and GOD does what HE WANTS”

    Take this virus seriously, especially if you have older parents like I do, who are the most vulnerable to this disease.

    • I had already asked at work for time off in June to go and see one or two games. Was just waiting for tickets to go on sale.
      But it doesn’t matter now. More important things now. Also next year is not so bad. Many of our young players will get more experience by then. Only messi will get older and is my only concern, but on the other hand if he gets a few extra months “vacation” this year it will help his body.

      • true mongol messi will almost turn 34 by the time of copa america next year so ima bit concerned about his playing in the mean time i do wish dybala to leave juventus and join a club to respects his game it wud be amazing if spurs were able to sign him but sadly with poch departure surely tat wont happen

  11. To kill some time, i’m going to rewatch (or watch for the 1s time) some NT games. What are some of your all time favorites that are older than 2 years? I have recording of the last 2 years btw.

    • England vs Argentina 1998
      Brazil vs Argentina 1990
      Mexico vs Argentina 1993
      Mexico vs Argentina 2007
      Greece vs Argentina 1994
      In losing efforts:
      Holland vs Argentina 1998

      • brazil vs argentina ’90 is my favorite game ever. lots of wonderful memories from that goal and my family reaction. big influence on my personal life! grew my hair like caniggia right after that haha!!

      • In the famous words of Antonio “Tony” Montana (Scarface), “Now you’re talking to me baby! That I like! Keep it coming!”

        Really good list Mr Montana. Hopefully they’re available and not absolute shite quality.

    • Honestly I recommend you start watching all the games from last year’s copa and onwards. The first 2 copa games were killers I know, but to see the progress the team made after those 2 fateful games is quite inspiring and it would also give you an idea of where the team is headed.

    • Honestly I recommend you start watching the all the games from last year’s copa and onwards. The first 2 copa games were killers I know, but to see the progress the team made after those 2 fateful games is quite inspiring and it would also give you an idea of where the team is headed.

      • I can realize De Paul played really well during the Copa when I re-watched the matches. If Paredes is in the best 11 of the competition , I don’t know why De Paul wasn’t.

      • yeah, i did start rewatching all the games in the last 2 years and it’s great to see the progression (i recorded all of them). We ended off on a high note against Uruguay. Damn we had them up against the ropes!

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