Friday June 30, 2006
Paul Jump, The Gaurdian
Jose Pekerman says he will quit as coach of Argentina after his team’s 4-2 defeat on penalties to Germany.
“This has come to an end and I will certainly not go on,” he said after the game. “You have to make a decision and I’m convinced I’ve done everything in my reach, and it’s time to look for something else.
“I’m very sorry for the coaches and the fans and the players. This team deserves to go further but we couldn’t make it.”
Pekerman, who substituted Juan RomÃ¡n Riquelme and HernÃ¡n Crespo with twenty minutes of normal time remaining, added that he was happy with the way his team had played.
“It was a very exciting match. Argentina played like favourites and gave of their best although they lost.
“The penalties were a consequence of a very even match. It’s a shame for Argentina who played very well today and in the whole championship.”
German coach Juergen Klinsmann said he thought the passionate German crowd had played a big part in his team’s victory.
“The fantastic crowd carried us, they believed in us,” he said. “We knew that even down a goal we’d come back. We were convinced that if we got to penalties we’d advance.
“The belief we have in ourselves is really strong. This is a team that’s grown together over the past six weeks and we want to be world champions.”
Captain and man-of-the-match Michael Ballack added that he though the hosts deserved to win.
“That was sensational,” he said. “The match was maybe not so interesting for spectators but it was a match at a very high level. The team fought to the end.
“Of course, there’s always luck when it comes to penalties but I think the team really deserved to win.”