Alejandro Mancuso on 2010 World Cup, Javier Zanetti exclusion, Verón issues


Alejandro Mancuso spoke about the 2010 World Cup debacle, Javier Zanetti getting excluded and issues with Juan Sebastián Verón.

Mancuso was part of Diego Maradona’s coaching staff at the 2010 World Cup with the Argentina national team and has spoken about the debacle at the tournament. Javier Zanetti had just captained Inter to a treble winning season and was left out of the team which flew to South Africa for the World Cup. Speaking in an interview with Acá hay buen fútbol on Radio La Red, here is what he had to say:

“Zanetti’s (exclusion) was not a football issue, he was left out of the squad due to a group issue. That was our big mistake.

“At that time, there were some frictions with Verón, there were certain conflicts with Sorín. We were pretty ignorant of it. Then, there were group issues that Diego took the decision of the group over the players.

“A coach has to opt for the football issue. The group issue is important but at a national team level, if there is a conflict between one starter and another starter, it has to be settled within the locker room. It was a group issue, not only with one person.”

On Juan Sebastián Verón not starting in the 4-0 loss vs. Germany:

“That’s why we improvised with Otamendi. Before the 2010 World Cup, we had a friendly against Germany and we won 1-0 with a back line of four with Otamendi as full back. Ibarra was in good form but he was injured.

“The idea was for Verón to start. The night before the match, we had a meeting with Tucho Villani, the doctor. And he told us that Verón had some issues with his knee and that he was not 100 percent.

“That doubt caused us to keep the same team. If he was good at that time, I believe we would have ended with Bruja (Verón) playing and Tevez out.”


  1. Those guys from Inter were dominating the European football at the time, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Samuel & G.Milito… not a single one of them play against Germany.

  2. Over a decade later and now we know why our greatest RB of all time was left out of the 2010 world cup…..? Do we have to wait another ten years to find out why cambiasso was left out also? Two tall strong players left out and we were lacking height and strength that year which became a trend in years afterwards.
    How about Diego Militio sitting on the bench while we had strikers fighting in the box vs defenders that were half a meter taller then them? Militio was one of the hottest strikers the year before the cup and he played a few minutes in the whole tournament.
    How about riquelme? What a wasted cup that turned out to be. We had riquelme for Gods sake and he stayed home.

    Btw. In my humble opinion we would have lost by 5 if veron played vs Germany. Even if he is tall and strong, he is an omen who created locker room tensions wherever he went.

  3. Under Diego no matter who played we would have crashed out in 2010. However leaving out Zanetti in 2006 had a huge play in us getting knocked out.

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