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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jun 25, 2006

Scorned Blanco wants La Volpe sacked

MEXICO CITY, June 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's gifted but volatile forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco, left out of the World Cup squad, ridiculed the national coach on Sunday after the team was knocked out of the tournament by Argentina.

Blanco has clashed repeatedly with coach Ricardo La Volpe, an Argentine, and poured scorn on him after Saturday's 2-1 defeat and early exit from the World Cup finals in Germany.

'We lost, but we win, because finally the team will be freed of this dark personality who is now synonymous with failure,' Blanco said of La Volpe in a newspaper column on Sunday.

Many believe the La Volpe era as Mexico's coach has come to an end. His contract expired with the team's defeat on Saturday, and the group of Mexican club presidents who pick the national team's coach are now expected to replace him.

Blanco is one of Mexico's most talented and creative players but has a fiery temperament and La Volpe rarely used him in the World Cup qualifying campaign, saying the player does not fit well into his tactical system.

Most Mexican commentators praised Mexico's performance against Argentina but Blanco, while paying tribute to some of the players, said he was tired of hearing excuses.

'It really hurts me to see our team knocked out of the World Cup and I am outraged by so much praise when really, at the end of it all, this is a FAILURE,' Blanco wrote.

'It hurts even more to lose against a rival who were never better than us.'

Mexico looked less than convincing in the World Cup group stage and even the strong performance on Saturday, forcing Argentina into extra time, was thought unlikely to save La Volpe.

Mexico took the lead early on but Argentina quickly equalised and then won the game with a sensational strike from Maxi Rodriguez in extra time.