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.”