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Argentina World Cup-winning coach Cesar Luis Menotti dies aged 85

Written by on May 5, 2024

Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach Cesar Luis Menotti has died aged 85.

Menotti led his country to victory on home soil in the 1978 tournament, beating the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time thanks to two goals from player of the tournament Mario Kempes.

“The Argentine Football Association regrets to report with great sadness the death of Cesar Luis Menotti, former world champion coach of Argentina,” said the AFA in a statement.

As a player, Menotti, a striker, played alongside Pele for Brazilian side Santos and won 11 international caps.

He then embarked on a coaching career which lasted 37 years including winning two trophies in a two-season spell with Barcelona and spells in Italy, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.

He took over the Argentina role in 1974 but there was controversy around the 1978 win after he opted not to include a 17-year-old Diego Maradona in the squad despite giving him his international debut the previous year.

But the following year, with Maradona in the squad, Menotti led Argentina to the Under-20 World Cup, beating the Soviet Union 3-1 in the final.

His reign ended after the 1982 World Cup in Spain where Argentina were eliminated by Brazil 3-1 in the second round with Maradona sent off.

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