Maradona: “I don’t believe that anybody is happy with this in a country that lives and breathes football.”

The road ended abruptly for Diego Maradona and Argentina at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. The roadblock was called Germany. For the second time in successive World Cups, the Germans broke Argentinean hearts. This victory was a humiliation for a proud manager and equally proud footballing nation such as Argentina.

In comments made directly after the match to Clarin of Buenos Aires, Maradona discussed the game, Lionel Messi, why modern-day stars don’t shine at World Cups and what he said to his players after the game. Gabriel Heinze also provided a brief quote.

No creo que nadie esté contento con ésto en un país donde vive y se respira fútbol“.

“I don’t believe that anybody is happy with this in a country that lives and breathes football.”

El partido:

“La verdad que teníamos todo estudiado de Alemania, las marcas definidas, pero en el primer centro que viene nos hacen el gol. Después empezó otro partido. Nosotros le facilitamos la pelota a Alemania y ellos en ventaja empezaron a tener ideas, que no habían tenido en este campeonato. Ellos aprovecharon bien sus chances de gol.”

On the Game

“The truth was that we had studied everything about Germany and how to mark them. But on the first opportunity that came, they scored a goal on us. After that began another game. We lost the ball to Germany and when they were in advantage, they began to have ideas that they haven’t had in this competition. They took advantage very well on their goal-scoring opportunities.”

Argentina had no answer for Bastian Schweinsteiger

Argentina had no answer for Bastian Schweinsteiger

Sobre sus jugadores:

“Esto no me quita el orgullo de estar al frente de los jugadores. Y les quiero agradecer públicamente al plantel y a mis colaboradores y a toda la gente que estuvo al lado nuestro. Yo me puedo ir mañana pero me gustaría que estos chicos siguieran demostrando lo que son y haciendo bien el fútbol argentino, el verdadero fútbol argentino. Hay que terminar con esa mentira de que el jugador que juega en el exterior y gana fortunas no puede jugar en la Selección. El final no ha sido el esperado, pero el que venga tendrá que seguir este camino”.

On His Players

“This doesn’t take away the pride to lead the players. And I want to thank the group publicly along with my staff and everyone that was at our side. I can leave (the job) tomorrow but it would please me if these young men follow on showing who they are and doing well for Argentinean football. The real Argentinean football.

You have to end with that lie that the player who plays outside of Argentina and makes his fortune can’t play in the Argentinean national team. Getting to the final wasn’t a hope but what will come staying on this path.”

¿Por qué Messi no la metió?:

“Porque cuando pateó se le levantó la pelota o porque los arqueros fueron figuras. Lio ha jugado un gran Mundial. Y digo que al verlo llorar en el vestuario, al que me dice que no siente la camiseta, le digo que es un estúpido”.

Leo Messi had been ill with flu before the match. He had 30 shots, 15 on goal, in 5 games at the World Cup with no goals

Leo Messi had been ill with flu before the match. He had 30 shots, 15 on goal, in 5 games at the World Cup with no goals

Why Didn’t Messi Score?

“Because when he shot, the ball rose (took off) or because the keepers did very well. Leo played a great World Cup. And I say to see him cry in the dressing room, to anyone that tells me that he doesn’t bleed for the shirt, that person is a fool.”

¿Por qué las figuras del fútbol no brillan en los mundiales como sí lo hacían los cracks de antes?:

“No lo sé, quizás por la forma de jugar que tenemos nosotros. No encuentro explicación. Ahora es diferente, creo que nosotros jugábamos para uno y hoy el jugador es más práctico, más colectivo, quiere hacer todo con sus compañeros”.

Why don’t the world football stars not shine at the World Cup as they used to do in the times past?

“I don’t know, perhaps the style of play that we have (speaking as a past player). I can’t find an explanation. Now it is different. I believe that we used to play for ourselves and today the player is more practical, plays more for the team and he wants to do everything for his teammates.”

Qué les dijo a sus jugadore en el vestuario?:

“Les agradecí por el trabajo que habían hecho, no hablé de mi futuro porque no es momento para hablar de mi futuro. Lo mejor que podía hacer era agradecerles por todos estos días que pasamos juntos y porque se portaron como verdaderos profesionales, no se habló otra cosa. Era todo tristeza. Hoy, a los casi 50 años, es lo más duro que tocó vivir. Estar al frente de tantos buenos jugadores es como una trompada de Mohamed Alí”.

“What did you say to the players in the dressing room?”

“I thanked them for the work they had done. I didn’t speak of my future because it isn’t time to speak of my future. The best that I could do was to show appreciation for all of these days that we spend together and because they conducted themselves like real professionals. I don’t know what else to say. It was complete sadness. Today, at almost 50 years of age, it’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my life. To be in front (as the leader) of so many good players is like a knock-out punch by Mohammed Ali.”

Gabriel Heinze

Yo saco muchas cosas positivas. Pero como siempre el resultado es el final y los que escriben son ustedes. Y los que hoy una vez más, desgraciadamente para mí, tienen el último capítulo para escribir son ustedes. Lo quería escribir yo una vez en la vida, pero para mí es más triste todavía que lo escriban ustedes. Pero bueno, así es el fútbol“.

“I take away many positive things. But as the result is always the final score and that is what you journalists write. And today another time, unfortunately for me, the last chapter is written by you. I would like to write it myself once in my life. But for me, it is already more sad what you are writing. But well, this is football.”

Spanish source: Clarin, July 3, 2010.

Diego Maradona exits South Africa for the last time

Diego Maradona exits South Africa for the last time

Match Statistics

Germany 4-0 Argentina

Ball possession: 54% to 46% for Argentina.
Shots on goal: 20 to 18 for Argentina.
Shots on target: 7 to 6 for Argentina.
Offside: 5 to 0 for Argentina.
Crosses: 19 to 16 for Argentina.
Corner kicks: 5 to 4 for Argentina.
Passes: 450 to 378 for Argentina.
Completion rate: 86% to 80% for Argentina.
Contrasts won (1 on 1 situations): 65 to 46 for Germany.
Fouls committed: 18 to 13 for Argentina.
Yellow cards: 2 to 1 for Argentina.

Statistics courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, July 3, 2010.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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