Argentina scored one of the most famous goals in the country’s history 11-years-ago, but the 2006 World Cup was an opportunity missed for the Albiceleste
When Gabriel Heinze nicked the ball from Mateja Kezman 30 yards from his own goal, no one in Gelsenkirchen, watching on television or in a Serbia and Montenegro shirt could have known that less than one minute and 25 passes later, Argentina would score a goal of such beauty that it will forever be etched in World Cup history.
The menacing grace with which Jose Pekerman’s side stroked the ball around the pitch was no flash in the pan; it was molded in a golden era of youth football but one which would ultimately fall short in reaching its full potential.
One need only look at the team sheet on that day in 2006 when Argentina so ruthlessly dismantled Serbia and Montenegro to witness the fruit of Pekerman’s work as under-20 coach. Captain Juan Pablo Sorin, Maxi Rodriguez, Juan Roman Riquelme, Javier Saviola and Esteban Cambiasso were all involved in the flowing passing move and all lifted the under-20 World Cup during Pekerman’s age of dominance.