Andrea Pirlo was not the only AC Milan player who thought about retirement after the 2005 UEFA Champions League final. Hernán Crespo, a historic Argentine striker, confessed in an interview for ESPN, that he also considered hanging the booties permanently.
That night in Istanbul represented a very hard blow for the River Plate youth squad. And it is that he left with the feeling that not even his best sports version was enough to proclaim himself European champion. Losing a final after having scored 2 goals, and after going 3-0 in the first half, he practically left him knocked out.
HERNÁN CRESPO AND HIS MEMORY OF ISTANBUL
“After that day, I didn’t want to play anymore. I didn’t want to play anymore because you don’t choose when to play well. In other words, you train and you don’t choose when it will go well. And that day everything came out for me. I felt the fastest. The best of all I felt, the day of the final. Now the book of defender Jamie Carragher came out and he said that they couldn’t stop me. He wrote it in the book. I had plenty from the physical and psychological. It was great. And to reach that level you have to have a big ego, a big personality. And when you arrive and you say: ‘I was in the best moment, I did everything to arrive, and it was not enough’. It is very hard ”.
WHAT PREVENTED YOU FROM WITHDRAWING FROM THE GAME?
Crespo’s lifeline ended up being a South American Superclassic. He attended the call, signed a double at El Monumental and, unlike what happened in Turkish territory, his team was now able to maintain the advantage. That victory reconnected him and allowed him to stay in the fight for much longer.
“The selection saved me. Because when the national team called me, before we played the last game (with AC Milan) in Udine, we went to Udine and we couldn’t stop the ball. It was a disaster. We finished 1-1, we got the tie by chance. We couldn’t move. Our heads were burned. We come to the national team and we play against Brazil at El Monumental. And that already, the responsibility of being the 9th of the team, playing against Brazil, qualifying rounds. I said: ‘I have to put the batteries’. First half when it ends: 3-0, two goals from me back, against Brazil. And I: ‘this can’t happen to me again’. Second time. Roberto Carlos broke our bow for us. And a climate was generated, the same climate, that with nothing in Brazil … And we couldn’t stop, we threw it outside, we wanted to make a foul and we couldn’t. And it was up to Adriano and he blew the stick. If Adriano makes it 3-2 there, they tie us. He errs, hits the stick and the game was ironed ”.
Undefeated data. Hernán Crespo could not remove his thorn in the UEFA Champions League. He only spent 1 season at AC Milan, so he could not be in the 2007 rematch special.
Did you know…? Hernán Crespo won titles with River Plate (3), Parma (3), Lazio (1), AC Milan (2), Chelsea (2) and Inter (5). In his career, in addition, he made more than 300 official annotations.