Coached by triple World Youth Cup winner Jose Pekerman, Argentina will be seeking redemption when they line up for their fourteenth appearance at the World Cup when the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals get underway in Germany.
The South American giants endured an early exit at Korea/Japan 2002 after completely outclassing all their rivals yet failing to score the goals needed to progress. Take a chance and try your knowledge and luck by placing a free bet at the best sport betting websites on your National team.
Pekerman replaces Marcelo Bielsa, who resigned after leading Argentina to their first Olympic soccer gold medal at the Athens Olympics.
Pekerman had previously been in charge of Argentina’s under-20 team from 1994 to 2002, a reign that resulted in World Youth Cup victories in 1995, 1997 and 2001.
Can he lead this World Footballing Power into the round of sixteen, a feat that hasn’t been achieved by any of his predecessors since the retirement of one Diego Armando Maradona?
Much will depend on Villarreal playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme. Pekerman said in a television interview of Riquelme, “He’s one of those different players, who appear at key moments and stand out. In our country, they criticise him if he goes for 10 minutes without passing the ball … If he played in Brazil, he would be Riquelminho and he would be number one in the world.”
While there is no doubting the Argentineans have the pedigree to win the FIFA World Cup. Argentina has twice been World Cup winners in 1978 and 1986 and has twice been runners-up (1930 and 1990). Lady luck has not been kind to the South American giants who have lobbed in the “group of death,” alongside Holland, Serbia & Montenegro and Cote d’Ivoire.