Juan Pablo Sorin talks about Argentina, Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa, 2002 World Cup


Juan Pablo Sorin gave an interview with Presion Alta where he spoke about the Argentina team at the 2002 World Cup as well as having Marcelo Bielsa as a coach.

Sorin only had nice things to say about the current Leeds manager. Having had him for the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and the World Cup itself, here’s what Sorin had to say:

“I appreciate having had him as a coach because he’s one of those revolutionaries who is always looking for more. He always wants to learn and pass something more onto the player.

“I never went through a defensive plan that made me polish up everything. To anticipate, the aerial duels… After that it was natural movements but when you work on them, you get used to covering for your team mates. From being a left wing back to left back or a sweeper.”

Regarding the disaster that was the 2002 World Cup for Argentina:

“The people don’t want to hear anymore about it because we didn’t score goals and we didn’t make it out of the group. The training sessions were demanding as they always were. We weren’t many which came from South America and we were physically very well.

“The one’s that came from Europe with very long seasons arrived extremely tired. We did our best, tried everything and maybe we reached our football peak a year before.”


  1. Bielsa is not flexible, die hard with his own principle and theory, 2002 with big names but tired players and Bielsa physical training approach makes them exhausted. Following 2006 till 2010 still no luck. Only 2014 we deserved to be in the final and should have won it. For me , still worst than 2002 is the Sampaoli 2018. Horrible.

  2. Hi guys .
    I am a diehard fan of argentina 2002 world cup was disaster for argentina i still remeber i was craying when argentina lost to england that was a painful expirenced

    • the real cry was after the game with Sweden.

      i agree with Sorin.

      i include myself to those people.
      the 2002 world cup it is something i try delete from my brain.

      • I was destroyed when I saw the ending of the match vs Sweden, but actually I had a bad feeling already when we won against Nigeria, I felt something was wrong, we had too few opportunities to score. The game vs England confirmed my thoughts.

        • from my side after win against Nigeria i was just saying it was bad performance but as first game of world cup the stress is big so i didn t see what was coming. i give excuse.
          after game against England i was saying “ok we lost a big match but ok it is not the end of world our team will respond in the last group game against one team that it is not England”.

          i was never felt anything wrong and i never saw what was coming.
          that is why the hit after the game against Sweden was massive.
          it take me very long time to recover after this blow.
          i was totally lost the ground down of my feet.

  3. I think Bielsa made some mistakes on players choices because he respected too much senior players and didn’t move them out even though they were unfit. On the other hand, there were players on fire like Kily, Placente, Crespo, Aimar, Gallardo but they were all on the bench. Initially I also think many players are not done for Bielsa’s 343 formation, for example asking Ortega and Claudio Lopez to play as wingers didn’t sound right to me. The 3 men behind had too similar profile. I think after this competition, Bielsa became much more relaxed on his system and let his formation/tactics adapted to his players and not inversely.

    • Gallardo was hardly on fire, His 99/2000 season was great, MVP in France and champion, next year still good, the last two rather average ones. The biggest mistake was to drop Veron, the most important player, the whole Bielsa system was built around him, Aimar couldnt do what Veron yes, dictate the tempo in box to box style and makes the defensive work too. Bielsa was panicking too early. Vs Nigeria Veron was the best player, against England in first half he played bad, and who not? Claudio Lopez or Ortega in winger forward postions is OK, Claudio Lopez played more forwardly neirly as second striker, Ortega a little bit deeper in more playmaking role (their natural positions). Ortega showed great things in River with a lot of goals and creativity, so on paper 3 real goalscoring threats played in this system, sadly Lopez, aging Batistuta and Ortega played out of from in WC.

      • Ortega I loved this player as I found something of Maradona on him. But really too much dribble. Not efficient enough.

        Claudio Lopez was the best counter-attacker in Europe during early 2000s but he is not a winger, his crossing was horrible. Unlike Caniggia, he cannot play as striker and winger in the same time.

        To me, Gallardo had the best passing skill, comparable to the best playmakers in this period like Zidane, Totti and Rui Costa. It’s obvious that he should be in the 11.

        Veron was my favorite central midfielder, but if he was out of form and we had Gallardo and Aimar, why bother? You just need to replace him by another more defensive player and let more freedom to the 10(Gallardo or Aimar).

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