Sao Paulo: Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero told his compatriots to “enjoy the moment” after saving two penalties in the semi-final shoot-out win over the Netherlands, on Wednesday, to send his country into their first World Cup final since 1990.
“Enjoy the moment, we will enjoy it and tomorrow we will start working for the final,” he said in a televised interview.
“I feel immense happiness, I’m really happy with everything. Penalties are a question of luck, that is the reality. I had confidence in myself and, fortunately, everything turned out well.
“Hope has been intact since day one,” he added.
Romero, who isn’t even a starter in his current club team Monaco, now has three straight clean sheets in the World Cup, and has only conceded three goals in the tournament.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper said a lot of thoughts were running through his mind before the shootout. “I had my colleagues from the bench helping me where each player could shoot,” Romero said.
He stopped Ron Vlaar’s penalty kick by diving right and Wesley Sneijder’s by diving to the left.
“I was thinking Sneijder was going to shoot there. I was also thinking that (Arjen) Robben was going to shoot to my left and then he ended up shooting to the other side and that’s why I was so mad.”
Romero, who was voted Man of the Match for his shoot-out heroics, had warm words for both coaches.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was the ’keeper’s boss at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, where he went in 2007, and Van Gaal joked after the match that he had taught Romero how to save penalties.
“I went to the dressing room to thank him (Van Gaal),” Romero told reporters. “He is someone who helped me a lot when I arrived in Holland, in a completely different country, with different customs, where they spoke a completely different language.
“At the beginning, I didn’t speak a word, and he spoke Spanish and he helped me a lot. So just as I am grateful to Sabella, I am also grateful to Van Gaal.” (Agencies)