César Luis Menotti Sports; Argentina’s first World Cup-winning coach dies at 85

César Luis Menotti Sports; – César Luis Menotti, the renowned coach who guided Argentina to its inaugural World Cup triumph in 1978, has passed away, as announced by the Argentine Football Association on Sunday. He was 85 years old. The association’s statement bid farewell to Menotti, affectionately known as “the thin one.”

No details regarding the cause of his death were provided by the association. Reports from local media indicated that Menotti was hospitalized in March due to severe anemia. He underwent surgery for phlebitis in April and was subsequently discharged. Menotti was distinguished by his passion for soccer and his exceptional ability to elucidate its intricacies as a coach, establishing himself as one of the most iconic and influential figures in Argentine soccer.

A political activist and a member of the Argentine Communist Party, Menotti was also a boxing enthusiast and an admirer of the literary works of Latin American authors such as Mario Benedetti, Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Sábato, and Joan Manuel Serrat.

Reflecting on an interview with Borges, Menotti shared, “Once I was interviewed by Borges, and when I asked him if it bothered him that I smoked, he told me: ‘What intoxicates me is not the cigarette, but the stupid conversations.’ So, I asked about everything … but not about soccer, because I know about soccer!” Menotti commenced his career as a player for various Argentine clubs, including Rosario Central, Racing Club, and Boca Juniors. He also played for the New York Generals in the U.S., Santos in Brazil, and Juventus in Italy.

During his time at Santos, Menotti played alongside Pelé, whom he regarded as the greatest player among all legends. As the coach of Argentina’s national team from 1974 to 1983, Menotti believed that the team did not receive the recognition it deserved for winning the World Cup in 1978 due to the oppressive military junta in power at the time. His critics often referenced a photograph to challenge his views.

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