Today marks the 30th anniversary of the presentation with defeat against Cameroon at the Italian World Cup . Before the 73,780 spectators, the opening match of the tournament was played at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium. Abel Balbo wearing the number 3 shirt, remembers that game: “The debut was to play as a starter with the world champions that four years before he watched on television. Maybe that betrayed me for not being emotionally prepared for so much. If Cameroon played in current football they have to suspend the match because it ends with 6 players. Physical strength was their main weapon and they hit a lot, ”he recalls referring to the match that the Africans won with a goal from Francois Omam-Biyik and in which André Kana-Biyik and Benjamin Massing were sent off.
“The team was the strength of the group. Bilardo in that was an expert, a genius forming groups. Diego's ankle was in pieces, and he was holding the pain. He was our leader like in '86 and '94. Thanks to his genius and Caniggia's inspiration, we reached a final, perhaps not deserved because of how we played, but because of the level of effort ”, recalled Abel Balbo passing through Italy '90 in a chat with TNT Sports .
Four years later Argentina came to the United States '94 after going through some complicated South American Qualifiers in which Abel Balbo did not participate due to a personal decision . He returned to the Argentina National Team for the repechage against Australia, coinciding with the return of Diego Maradona. Balbo was key scoring in the first leg in Sidney .
"That team won the World Cup. Argentina came from being Champion and Runner-up of the World. Brazil did not come close to the finals and we were the ones who could ruin the party. At the beginning they underestimated us because of the playoffs, but the team was very firm. The only way to turn us was to get Diego out, ”recalls Balbo. Brazil was Champion and Abel had a close relationship with Aldair, a teammate in Rome: “We talked together. He knew what they thought of us and Brazil's respect for that Argentine team. ”