Sabella looking to ‘86 for Argentine inspiration

Carlos Bilardo’s side beat West Germany 3-2 in the final in Mexico 28 years ago

Alejandro Sabella of Argentina talks to the media during a press conference at Rio’s Maracana Stadium. Photograph:   Clive Rose/Getty Images

Alejandro Sabella of Argentina talks to the media during a press conference at Rio’s Maracana Stadium. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images


Argentina are hoping the echoes of their last World Cup success have a triumphant note when they face Germany in the final in the Maracana on Sunday.

Alejandro Sabella, the former Sheffield United and Leeds United player who is now Argentina coach, admitted there are uncanny similarities between the team who Diego Maradona led to glory in 1986 and his side, with Lionel Messi occupying the role of talisman.

He has even taken advice from Carlos Bilardo, who was Argentina coach 28 years ago in Mexico when they beat West Germany 3-2 in the final.

Sabella told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: “Let’s hope the result is the same, for starters. I was in Brazil when the match took place in 1986, and yes there are similarities. Let’s hope the result will be repeated.

“We [he and Bilardo] spoke about the importance of midfield, giving solidity to a team. You need to play continuously in the World Cup, and you have to be solid mentally and physically, with the right mindset.”

Sabella said Germany may have an advantage having played their semi-final against Brazil a day earlier, and also not having had to play extra-time. He pledged, however, that Argentina will sacrifice every last ounce of energy against the Germans in their quest to bring home the World Cup for their country.

He added: “This is a factor in favour of Germany, undoubtedly. But we’ll give our best, through humility, sacrifice, hard work, being down to earth and giving before receiving. We will give our all so that Argentina can be a champion once again.

“We’re happy to see the happiness in our people, bringing this joy to our people back home. We’ll do everything we can. More, we cannot do. We’ll do everything we can for the Argentina jersey.”

Sabella will give Angel Di Maria until just before the match before making a decision on his fitness after the Real Madrid winger suffered a torn thigh muscle.

Di Maria has been having stem cell injections to speed up his recovery and Sabella said: “We’ll see on Di Maria. We have special things planned for him. I’ll have a better idea after we’ve trained.”

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is expected to return to the starting line-up, however, after a full recovery from a muscle strain.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.