A legend hangs up his boots

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A legend hangs up his boots Empty A legend hangs up his boots

Post by Patrick Bateman Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:47 am

Arrivederci Crespo
A tearful Hernan Crespo has said goodbye to Parma and Italian football. Antonio Labbate pays tribute to one of Serie A’s best ever foreign players.


“I can’t believe that I was applauded off the field of play.” That was a young Hernan Crespo, in March 1997, as he was replaced by Sandro Melli with 10 minutes left of the League game between Parma and Cagliari. The Argentine had scored twice, the second an aesthetically pleasing scissor-kick following a cross from Dino Baggio.

Crespo’s surprise at the reaction of the Tardini faithful was understandable. After all, sections of the crowd had spent large parts of the season prior to that performance jeering the boy who was still just 21. It was primarily thanks to the insistence of boss Carlo Ancelotti that the South American not only eventually flourished at Parma, but Italian football in general.

“The public whistled me because I wasn’t scoring and they booed Ancelotti because he kept picking me,” the former Argentina international, 35 goals in 64 caps, once stated. “It was hard for both of us, but we eventually convinced everyone and that was the season that we finished second behind Juventus.”

Ancelotti was certain from the off that the summer signing from River Plate was something a bit special. Sure he was raw, but the comparison with 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Valdano, made by Daniel Passarella, stood up to a degree and not just because of their bushy hair or muscular frames.

The tactician not only liked the South American as a footballer, he also approved of the way he conducted himself. The professional Crespo arrived in Italy with a motto – “meglio fare che parlare” – which loosely translated that he would let his feet do the talking. The former Milan midfielder gave him the stage to do that.

Crespo scored 12 goals in 27 games during his maiden Serie A campaign, just two shy of top scorer Enrico Chiesa’s tally, which came from an extra two appearances. He continued to ripple the net with some regularity for the Gialloblu, and in some style, until Lazio broke the world transfer record to sign him in 2000 for £35m. He would later move on to Inter and Chelsea, before being re-united with his Tardini teacher at Milan.

“Ancelotti allowed me to become a footballer at Parma, then he wanted me again with the Rossoneri,” Crespo commented. “If there wasn’t that comeback by Liverpool in Istanbul then we would have won the Champions League together. I still think about that game and it’s hard to find an answer to what happened. My brace in the Final was thus forgotten…”

Milan had the opportunity to keep Crespo at the end of the 2004-05 season, but Vice-President Adriano Galliani overruled Ancelotti. He subsequently returned to Chelsea, but England wasn’t Italy, the Premiership wasn’t Serie A. Inter called and Crespo responded, much to the surprise of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

“He thought I was mad when I asked him to let me go back to Italy,” Crespo stated. “He offered to renew my contract, he asked me what I wanted. He didn’t know why I wanted to return.”

Crespo, whose international partnership with Gabriel Batistuta never hit the heights that it promised, gave some decent service to the Nerazzurri during his second spell at the club. He became a serial Scudetto winner with the Beneamata during the post-Calciopoli days before a brief stint at Genoa and then a January 2010 return to Parma – a place he describes as home.

“My objective is to lead Parma to the left-hand side of the table,” he said as the club feared relegation into Serie B. “That is where I found them when I first joined back in 1996 and that is where I want to leave them.”

Crespo wasn’t quite able to fulfil that target when on Thursday, with his side just two points shy of 10th place, he confirmed with tears in his eyes that he had rescinded his contract and ended his playing days at the highest level. After a career bursting at the seams with goals and commitment, it was only right that the gathered Press – just like the fans at the Tardini 15 years ago – gave him a deserved round of applause.

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Post by Patrick Bateman Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:53 am

One of my fav Crespo goals.


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Post by Guest Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:57 am

:bow: A true legend

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Post by Mr Nick09 Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:00 pm

DAT PASS!!!

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Post by S Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:15 pm

He will be playing in India soon :shisha:
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Post by Zealous Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:04 pm

Crespo :bow:
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Post by EL Patron Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:12 pm

What a legend.. one of the best finishers in the game.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:26 pm

He didn't hang up his boots, he went to play in India Razz
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Post by RealGunner Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:27 pm

A legend in the game :bow:
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Post by Lord Hades Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:28 pm

Hang up his boots? nah he is just getting new ones to try his luck in the most competitive and difficult culture of football in the world.. indian football Razz Razz

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Post by alexjanosik Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:46 pm

A great striker,one of the best of the past 15 years.
Just made the wrong career decisions,especially the move to Chelsea.
A great striker and a lethal finisher.

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Post by The Franchise Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:00 pm

Legand of a striker and lethal finisher, at his best he was a serious problem.
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Post by che Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:01 pm

tl,dr article... did he really retire or just quit parma?
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Post by JAY-Z Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:00 pm

I've alwaysed love this guy, since the Lazio days ://

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Post by rsinatra Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:04 pm

legend! goodbye, crespo!
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Post by Internal Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:09 pm

Crespo :bow:
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Post by CBarca Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:22 pm

:bow:

Sad I didn't see much of him, but I remember playing with him as a small kid in Fifa 04, good times Very Happy

Good luck Crespo!
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Post by Patrick Bateman Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:24 pm

BarrileteCosmico wrote:He didn't hang up his boots, he went to play in India Razz

Same thing :coffee:
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Post by B-Mac Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:09 pm

argentina - Riquelme, Cruz, Crespo my fifa 2002 go to team....bossed everyone
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Post by Jack Daniels Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:19 am

A guy who could literally score from everywhere...
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Post by fatman123 Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:21 am

:bow: top player, shame he couldn't establish himself at Chelsea, although mou did screw around with him a fair bit, good on him for promoting the game in new places too
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Post by FennecFox7 Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:32 am

CBarca wrote:
I remember playing with him as a small kid in Fifa 04, good times Very Happy

LMAO dude, same here!
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Post by Forza Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:45 am

CRESPO!!! :dance:
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Post by Guest Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:12 am

one of the best striker, and really joy to watch him score. will never forget his contribution against liverpool, sadly he wasnt part of us when we took revenge, and therefore its sad to know how he feels still about that night.

will miss him.

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Post by Red Alert Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:23 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:One of my fav Crespo goals.



That goal was class. From Kaka's through ball, to the chip just... :bow:
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