Hernan Crespo on Argentina in 2006: I told Messi he would make me win the semi and the final

20

Hernan Crespo was once a veteran of the Argentina national team and the prolific goal scorer spoke about the team’s elimination from the 2006 World Cup and what he had told Lionel Messi.

Crespo was fully established not only in the Argentina national team but in world football. Playing for world giants such as AC Milan, Inter, Chelsea, River Plate and others, Crespo made a name for himself scoring goals. Speaking in an interview with Superfutbol, the former striker spoke about Argentina’s match against Germany at the 2006 World Cup. Here’s what he had to say:

“I haven’t gone back and watched the finals because it’s the end of the movie and it only brings up pain. What I could tell you was for that match, most people in that group were surprised at Saviola’s exclusion.

“It was with him that we went through the entire World Cup qualifiers and we played really well.”

When asked about Lionel Messi finishing the match on the bench:

“Messi still wasn’t what we all thought he would be. At that time, he was someone that could be the best and unbalance (the opponent) at any time, especially in the last 20 minutes. In between all of the pain was me knowing that I told Leo I would get him to the semi final and that he would make me win the other two matches.”

20 COMMENTS

  1. This match was just fishy. I dont think the players was bribed but their manager probably did.

    Taking out our best player and best forward and didnt even field Messi for 120 minutes???

    Argentina had Saviola, Aimar, Crespo, Messi and Riquelme sitting on the bench all at once since second half!

    We would easily dominated this Germany team and then Italy if Roman and Crespo keeps playing when we’re up 1-0 , and if we add Messi later in the game, we would streamrolled them. THis is technically the best version of the national team that Messi ever played with, much better than the 2014.

  2. Falling into the memories of 2006 World Cup gives every Argentina fan the worst headache. I try to avoid talking about this very game in particular, but at the end of the day it’s very difficult to ignore it all the time. I think Saviola’s exclusion wasn’t the worst decision Pekerman made though Saviolita was amazing in all thr games he took part. The reason Pekerman chose Tevez over Saviola was his physicality since the Germans are tall and physically strong and Tevez did quite well in terms of defense and attack contribution.

    Leaving Messi on the bench will remain a mystery as long as there is a drop in the ocean. Julio Cruz’s introduction to the game changed nothing. His defense and attack contribution was very bad and I think Pekerman thought the guy will be great in both aspects, but it was totally the opposite. The only thing that’s worth mentioning about Cruz is one single good cross he delivered in the final minutes of the secong half during the 90 minutes and the penalty-kick he scored.

    Messi could’ve been the real difference maker if he only played 15 minutes. His lightning speed and excellent dribbling could make the German defenders concede a penalty or score a goal by himself. Unfortunately, these bad feelings and memories will never go away!

    • Very true. Interestingly there was a England -Argentina friendly few months before WC2006. Argentina was leading 2.1 & riquelme was withdrawn 5-10mins before full time. England ended up immediately scoring 2 goals & won 3.2
      It would have definitely played in Pekerman’s mind when he subbed Riquelme against Germany. Blunder repeated

    • Countries like Germany, Portugal and France never hesitates to field young Podolski, CR and Mbappe the whole tournament while Argentina decided to keep what would be considered “Best player in history” on the bench the whole game. Just weak mentallity by the coach.

      Maradona would have won multiple WC if he’s included in 1978 squad, but that one will always be forgiven cause they still ended up winning the whole thing.

  3. As we know that Allison is very good goalkeeper.His positioning and disyribution of the ball is too good.It is very hard to get through him.I think to score against him,players should go for the farthest corner of goal post.It is the area where he feeels discomfort.So when players are going agaimst him either in free kick or in long shot ,the shot should be targetted on to the area which is farthest from Allison and that area is the corner part of goal post.Messi should always shot on the post which is fartherest from Allison.

  4. Manager’s arrogance always made argentina NT suffer , in 2002 is Bielsa , in 2006 its pekerman, in 2018 its Sampoli. Sabella might not be tactically great like those managers but he knew his players well and how make a group and scaloni is heading in same way.

      • I woudnt blame Bilardo in 1990. That team was not at its best. Maradona was playing with 1 foot. They still went quite far.
        To me biggest failures were 1998@ Passarella , Bielsa @2002 & Pekerman @2006 . Those were well primed teams & could have been real contenders.
        2010 & 2018 we actually entered in total mayhem & realistically those teams winning would have been a miracle. Both cases coach had like 1year