Juan Sebastián Verón has confirmed that he thinks it unlikely he’ll play for Argentina for much longer, if ever again, due to age and the need for Sergio Batista – who looks increasingly likely to be given charge of the side on a permanent basis – or his successor to build a team for the future. ‘It seems like my “cycle” in the selección has come to an end,’ he told Radio Del Plata on Thursday.
‘If they’re trying to form a group for the next World Cup, I don’t see myself as part of that due to my age [he’ll be 39 by the time Brazil 2014 kicks off], I think there are other players ahead of me,’ he continued. ‘I’m a realist and I’m not aiming towards another World Cup.’ He also declared he’d felt ‘angry’ at only having got to the quarter-finals of the recent World Cup in South Africa, considering the quality of players at Argentina’s disposal, and with reference to the upcoming friendly against Spain in the Estadio Monumental, he said that, ‘for the players and public it’s a nice match to watch and to play in, but I’m not sure it’s taking place at an appropriate time,’ presumably meaning it seems to early in the season.
It could well be that Verón actually feels he could do a job next year at the Copa América in Argentina, but having realised he’s unlikely to be able to do more than fill space on the pitch by the time the next World Cup rolls around, he’s taking the pressure of Batista or his replacement to pick him. It was far from an official international retirement, but all the same it’s a recognition that the international career of one of the finest midfielders of his generation could be drawing to a close.
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Photo taken from canchallena.com