Samuel did not insult coach
By Patricio Figueroa
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Walter Samuel insists he did not insult Argentina coach Jose Pekerman.
Walter Samuel insists he did not insult Argentina coach Jose Pekerman upon learning he had been omitted from the World Cup squad.
Internazionale defender Samuel was left out of Pekerman's 23-man squad for the finals in Germany and there were rumours the player criticised the coach.
The centre half has refuted speculation he insulted Pekerman, but conceded he is disappointed to be missing the tournament.
"I can swear on my daughter's name that I didn't insult Pekerman," affirmed Samuel. "I told him what I felt I had to say to him and that will remain between us.
"You have to respect his decision. I had the hope of being in the team, but I was lucky that my family has been with me all the time and they prepared me for this moment.
"In my opinion I had a good year. At least in Italy everyone says that to me, from the supporters to the officials.
"I did my best, but Pekerman must have thought that I didn't do enough. To say the truth, this is a real bad moment.
"It's going to be very tough to watch the World Cup on the television, but I wish all the luck to the players that will be representing Argentina."
In contrast to Samuel, his Inter team-mate Julio Cruz has been selected for the trip to Germany after missing the last World Cup in the Far East.
Cruz admits he was not expecting to be included in the squad and is delighted that he now has the chance to play in a World Cup finals.
"If I had to guide myself by what was being said in the press in Argentina, I wasn't in anyone's plans," said Cruz.
"I thank Pekerman because he trusts in me. I am very happy because four years ago I had to go through a very different situation.
"I knew two hours before the list was announced that I wasn't going to be in it. That really hurt me. But now this is a kind of revenge that I have with football.
"I am going through a very special moment in my life. I am currently the top scorer of Inter, something that nobody expected.
"I think that I have won all this thanks to the hard work that I have been doing."