Argentina’s Willy Caballero revealed he and his family received threats following his blunder in the team’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia last week.
The Chelsea goalkeeper has broken his silence after his mistake which allowed Croatia to score their opener in the 53rd minute. Caballero attempted a scoop pass over Croatia’s Ante Rebic but it fell directly to the winger who sensationally volleyed over the keeper to give his side the lead.
The 36-year-old Caballero, who had started the 1 -1 draw with Iceland in Argentina’s opener but was benched in his team’s 2 -1 win over Nigeria on Tuesday, received a social media backlash.
“I’m calmer now … following the positive result and the qualification (for the last 16). What happened to me has now become an anecdote,” Caballero wrote on Instagram:
“A misfortune, a mistake, an error, however one wants to call it. There are a lot of things that I accept because it was a football mistake. But I received a lot of disrespect , bad wishes and threats for me and my family. These ugly attitudes did not help me.”
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said it was not right to blame Caballero and accepted full responsibility for the defeat.
Caballero thanked those that have stood behind him during this difficult time . He wrote: “What I hold on to is that a lot of people supported me, accompanied me and suffered with me. I thank those who have been there, the close ones and the not so close, those that had the guts to write to me and all the others that supported me one way or another.
“Once again I accept my mistake but I never had the desire for my family to have to go through such unpleasant days. I wear the Argentina jersey with all the values I learned from my home and growing through football.”
Argentina lost starting goalkeeper Sergio Romero to a knee injury during the country’s preparations for the tournament in Russia.
Romero was Argentina’s goalkeeper at the 2014 World Cup when they finished runners -up to Germany. The Albiceleste progressed as runners – up in Group D and will take on France on Monday in the round of 16 of the competition, with River Plate’s Franco Armani expected to start in goal again.