World champion in 1986. Player, among other teams, of Real Madrid and later coach and sports director of Merengue. Forward of those and a man always respected everywhere when it comes to expressing his opinion, with a very rich vocabulary, knowledgeable like few on the soccer planet. Jorge Valdano, the man in question, came across the screen of Team F (on ESPN). In the middle of a delicious chat with Pollo Vignolo and company, aHe embroidered different themes and protagonists: the National Team, Marcelo Gallardo, Lionel Messi and Maradona, among others. Here, the best phrases of him.
Valdano, world champion in 1986 (EFE).
VALDANO AND THE SELECTION
“We are fine, but it happens that there is a bigger and bigger difference between South America and Europe. We were the counterpart of Europe. They were the only ones who could challenge Europe. We have played for a long time as equals. If we don’t win in Qatar, It will be 20 years without winning a World Cup, the same thing happens in Club World Cups. We do not compete against European teams and there are not enough references to measure the possibilities.”
The DT next to the Ayala Mouse, one of his assistants.
“Argentina is in a position to beat anyone, but it could cost them a lot. Not only to France or Germany. It can be difficult to beat Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium. All the teams are very gifted physically and tactically. Everyone controls and passes at maximum speed. They are complicated teams.”
“The players believe Scaloni. He has generated an ecological balance in football that works. Some players perform more in the National Team than in their teams. He has acted very intelligently since he arrived. He had to earn authority, he didn’t wear it like Menotti or Bilardo, who already had prestige. His prestige had to be built in the National Team. He didn’t overreact. He always low profile. He won over the group. It is a happy group.
VALDANO ON GALLARDO
“It is very far away, I practically do not see River, more than in some Libertadores match. The Argentine League is not seen in Spain. It is dramatic. There is no better way than to advertise a championship by taking it out on TV. Gallardo is a great, he is capable of being eight years in a club as demanding as River from the game and results. At a press conference he maintains a surprising and admirable balance. He has tremendous emotional control, he lost it in the last game, but it got away from him” personality from him.
Gallardo, DT of River (Carroll).
“Gallardo is ready for Europe. I think so, I am Argentine and I have information about what he does. But the sports directors of Europe are not Argentines.”
VALDANO ABOUT MESSI AND MARADONA
“They are two geniuses, they don’t usually look alike. They are born with everything on, but each one has a way of expressing genius. I once witnessed a conversation between Maradona and Caniggia. ‘You throw the ball forward and start running . And you leave behind. I have to hide the ball and show it, I told him. As if it were a defect I had. The genius does that, through talent he defends himself from mistakes. He does magic. I can’t imagine Leo explaining the latest work of art that he has done, but he does it. They get into tremendous trouble and they are confident that they will come out of that trouble with the higher power that nature gave them.”
Messi celebrating with the National Team (AFP).
Messi: “One of the demonstrations that are born knowing is that he has played as a winger and it seemed that he was born there. He played as a false nine and seemed to have been born there. Now they play him as a strategist and he seems to have been born there. Wherever you put him, he gives the sensation that he has a map of the parties and he discovers them, he ends up expressing them with an extraordinary naturalness. He is a strategist today. He is at an interesting crossroads. He is going to have a high number of interventions, which is what is convenient for Argentina, that the ball passes through him. He doesn’t have the scoring power of years ago, which was something never seen before, with 50 or 60 goals per season. We have only seen it with Cristiano and him in the history of football.”
Argentina in 1986 (AFP).
Diego: “Maradona is the most present absentee that I have seen in my life. Go around the city and find murals everywhere. He is a worldwide phenomenon, talking about Diego as if he is still alive. Now we talk about him without worrying. Because in the last years of his life, he had an implicit concern for his condition or health.”
*”We had the great advantage of seeing him in his fullness. What a genius. He was happy in those days. An expression of a healthy guy, who managed the entire show. He didn’t have his game in mind, but the game.”