Today is a holiday in Argentina, since it is exactly 35 years since that June 29, 1986, when the team led by Carlos Salvador Bilardo was crowned World Cup champion in Mexico with a superlative Diego Armando Maradona, thanks to the 3- 2 achieved against Germany.
However, at the same time this anniversary brings us to another, much deeper thought: Why is it already 35 years of not being able to lift a World title? What happened in each of the eight World Cups subsequent events that prevented the national team from being crowned again? Let’s review.
The finals of 1990 and 2014, also against the Germans, had similar condiments: in both there was the feeling that the championship could have been won quietly, but that the decisions of the judges on duty changed the process.
The post-coronation contest in Mexico was marked by a referee error Edgardo Codesal Méndez, who charged a non-existent penalty from Roberto Sensini for an alleged foul on Rudi Völler in the final minutes of the clash, putting the stamp on the result from the execution of Andreas Brehme.
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In Brazil 2014, There was a penalty from the German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to Gonzalo Higuaín very clearly, that the person in charge of starting justice, the Italian Nicola Rizzoli, decided to omit: the confrontation with the Argentine possibility of executing that maximum penalty would have been different, although there were also many goals wasted by the players of Alejandro Sabella.
You also have to make a mea culpa, of course: ’94 was marked by positive doping of Maradona, which resulted in a spirited blow for the team and elimination in the second round against Romania. In France ’98, with a great team, Ariel’s header Ortega to Edwin Van Der Sar, the expulsion, the agonizing goal of the Netherlands and the dismissal in the quarterfinals.
Argentina got tired of having good teams and not being able to materialize that superiority of hierarchy and names in the result: perhaps the biggest failure It was the 2002 World Cup, as expressed by the coach at that time, Marcelo bielsa: “Soccer has as an option that the best does not win. We were the best team in the group, we deserved to win comfortably against Sweden, we deserved a better result than we obtained against Nigeria and we did not deserve to lose against England. It was a failure because we were in a position to get more than we got ”.
The ghost of Germany reigned again in 2006. Jose Luis Pekerman decided to include “Gardener” Cruz instead of gambling it for Lionel messi, that young man who was already painting for serious things, and the role of the Teutonic goalkeeper Lehmann in penalties fired us in the quarterfinals, another very hard blow for a team painting for candidacy.
In 2010 we were arrogant and underestimated our rival. “We are eight points, very good. We know that Germany beat England very easily, but we also know that when England rushed it, they tied and the referee did not give them the second goal. So let’s not get Germany 4-1 over England. Let’s not eat the chamuyo, let’s not eat the lie “said DT Maradona the day before the game. 0-4 and home, with Diego on the bench and Lionel as a flag.
The aforementioned 2014, with maestro Sabella and a team with a well-marked identity, was the competition where Argentina was closest to being crowned again, but again Germany got in the way, and Gotze ruined Messi’s crowning one once and for all with our t-shirt.
What happened in 2018 was a big deal: “We prepared very well for the World Cup but then the Cup, in itself, was not so good. We had to find a balance so that the Argentine player’s obligation to win did not generate more anxiety. Each game was almost a suffering“, Said the coach of that team, Jorge Sampaoli, who qualified for the eighth of a miracle and that was where France gave him a reality check.
Misunderstanding of the squad and the coaching staff, the waste of Messi and a new pale for the national team that will try again in Qatar 2022, probably the last World Cup for the best player on the planet. Are there chances to break the streak? Can Scaloni reverse adversity? Everything remains to be seen. But, first, it will be necessary to do a serious review of everything lived, so as not to repeat it again.