Crespo's Love Triangle
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This column was written by John Cagney. If you want to submit a column, please send it to admin*at*acmilan-online.com.
Carlo Ancelotti adores him, Jose Mourinho is attempting to woo him back and Galliani insists that the ‘affair’ is none of his business and that if the wife (in this case Mourinho) wants the player to honour his contract ‘vows’ then there is little the mistress (Ancelotti) can do about it.
It seems that Hernan ‘Valdinito’ Crespo has many admirers at present, yet many Rossoneri supporters remain unconvinced that the Argentine star is good enough for their Milan side. They feel (and justifiably so) that his inclusion in the team is a direct consequence of the long-term injury to Filippo Inzaghi and more recently a month-long lay-off for current European Footballer of the Year, Andriy Shevchenko, not to mention the dismal form shown by Danish international Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Many supporters would also argue that he is not clinical enough in front of goal and wastes more chances than he scores.
The majority of Milan fans would also be of the belief that his season-long loan signing from Chelsea is merely an interim measure before the anticipated summer arrival of Alberto Gilardino from Parma.
But despite the doubters, Crespo himself is adamant that Milan is now his home, recently informing the club’s website: “when I joined Milan, I had a dream: to rise again as a player and be part of this team on a permanent basis. Today I'm happy to know that [Adriano] Galliani is trying to define my situation with Chelsea. Milan have given me a lot so far, they have coddled me, helped me from a medical point of view to overcome a difficult situation, I really owe a lot to this club.”
The English press continually refer to his time in England as a ‘complete disaster’ and label him a ‘flop’, but this is a player who spent a large portion of his English adventure out injured and in the 19 Premier League games that he took part in managed to find the back of the net 10 times – that’s an average better than one goal every two games. His track record in the notoriously defensive-minded world of Serie A speaks for itself – at time of writing he had rattled in 117 goals in 210 games.
Two exceptionally diverse finishes - if the tap-in following Roy Carroll’s clumsy blunder at Old Trafford typified the striker’s predatory instinct, then his perfectly placed header which left Tim Howard no chance in the return leg illustrated the Chelsea player’s class - against Manchester United in the first knockout stage of the Champions League were enough to see Milan qualify for the quarter-final stage of the CL for the third successive season – a unique distinction amongst Milan’s fellow quarter-finalists.
His two strikes in February’s international friendly in Germany, including a stunning effort floated past Arsenal ‘keeper Jens Lehmann, brought his tally to 36 in just 50 outings for the national side.
This is a player who, at the turn of the new millennium, was thought of as the complete striker, many people’s choice as the world’s best goal-scorer. So now, five years on, and at 29 years of age, at the peak of his professional career, it remains somewhat perplexing that he continues to divide opinion, even amongst supporters of the club he plays for.
It remains to be seen who will eventually win Crespo’s hand with Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti recently declaring, “If it depended on us, Crespo already would have been signed. But his future depends on Chelsea. There is an agreement on our side; Crespo wants to stay and we want Crespo to stay. With that, we must find an agreement and negotiate with the London club."
However, whether he stays or goes, his time at Milan has seen the striker reaffirm his status as one of the best goal-scorers in world football.
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