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Esteban Cambiasso: Great Goals Retold (vs Serbia & Montenegro, World Cup 2006)

Esteban Cambiasso

Esteban Cambiasso didn’t know. He had no idea that the goal he scored would be the subject of study in different universities.

“I hadn’t understood the dimension of it, until my team-mates started telling me that most of them had touched the ball. I only remembered that [Javier] Saviola gave me the ball and I passed it to [Hernan] Crespo, who made a perfect backheel pass so I could take a clean shot with my left foot,” he says. 

In the end, Cambiasso scored after a brilliant 25-pass combination. “A monument of geometry,” as Spanish newspaper El Mundo described it. Nine Argentina players took part in the 56-second move. Only goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri and right-back Nicolas Burdisso didn’t touch the ball. 

“When I saw it on TV, it was simply incredible. Our manager Jose Pekerman would always encourage us to treat the ball well and have a neat circulation. And if you watch that goal, you realise that it has everything: patience, change of rhythm, circulation and surprise.

“The move started on the left, moved to the centre and then ended on the right. It also involved going forward and backwards,” says the Inter player, who started that game on the bench and came on for Lucho Gonzalez in the 16th minute. Fifteen minutes later, he would score what many still believe is one of Argentina’s three greatest goals of all-time, alongside those of Diego Maradona and Ernesto Grillo, both against England.

In Gelsenkirchen, Argentina won the game 6-0, and Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal...

Originally published in the June 2011 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe