Jürgen Klinsmann commented on Lionel Messi not playing for Argentina vs. Germany at the 2006 World Cup and the current World Cup favorites.
Klinsmann was the Germany coach at the 2006 World Cup when his team played against Jose Pekerman’s Argentina. It was a match which Argentina were leading and controlling up until an injury to goalkeeper Jose Pekerman and controversial substitutions by Pekerman.
Argentina’s national team would lose on penalty kicks with Lionel Messi, Juan Riquelmo, Hernan Crespo, Javier Saviola and Pablo Aimar on the bench. Here’s what Klismann said in an interview with SPORT:
“I was very happy that Messi didn’t start that day. It was a dramatic quarter-final, like a small movie script that took place in just one game. It ended in a penalty shootout and obviously we were lucky to get through those penalties. It’s one of those games that you could debate up and down, over and over again. I was extremely happy that Messi didn’t take the stage.”
As for the current favorites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar:
“Argentina should have won a few more cups since 1990. Maybe it will happen this year. Why not? I wish that would happen, especially for Leo. Let him win this time, as a Christmas present.
“To be honest, I think if you want to analyze a team as favourites, you have to look at what the qualifiers were like. And today, Argentina and Brazil are candidates over the Europeans.