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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 28, 2006

Messi could not watch World Cup after exit

BUENOS AIRES, July 27 (Reuters) - Argentina forward Lionel Messi said on Thursday he could not face watching the rest of the World Cup after his team went out in the quarter-finals to hosts Germany on penalties.

'After we lost to Germany, I didn't watch any more World Cup games,' he told Argentine television. 'I didn't know about anything that was going on.'

'The final? I didn't watch it.'

The speedy teenager was surprisingly left on the bench for the Germany game by coach Jose Pekerman and did not even come on as a substitute when the German defence was flagging. Argentina lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

'You'll have to ask Pekerman why I didn't get to play more,' he said. 'There were 23 very good players.'

But Messi said he did not bear a grudge against Pekerman, who resigned following the tournament.

'I had no problem with Pekerman, he took me to the World Cup and gave me my debut. He's a very good coach, he's very good at leading a group. I wouldn't be unhappy if he continued.'

Messi said the 2006 World Cup was overall a positive experience for him.

'I played my first World Cup, I made my debut at the age of 18. On the personal side, that was positive.

'It was a strange World Cup in which the best teams got knocked out. Argentina were eliminated when we were playing the best football.'

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