Daniel Passarella

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Daniel Passarella
Personal information
Full name Daniel Alberto Passarella
Date of birth (1953-05-25) 25 May 1953 (age 61)
Place of birth Chacabuco, Argentina
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back, Sweeper.
Club information
Current team
River Plate (president)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1973 Sarmiento 36 (9)
1974–1982 River Plate 226 (90)
1982–1986 Fiorentina 109 (26)
1986–1988 Internazionale 44 (9)
1988–1989 River Plate 32 (9)
Total 447 (140)
National team
1974–1986 Argentina 70 (22)
Teams managed
1989–1994 River Plate
1994–1998 Argentina
1999–2001 Uruguay
2001 Parma
2002–2004 Monterrey
2005 Corinthians
2006–2007 River Plate
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 October 2005.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 October 2005

Daniel Alberto Passarella (born 25 May 1953) is a former Argentine football centre back and former manager of the Argentine and Uruguayan national football teams. He was captain of the Argentina team that won the 1978 World Cup. He was president of the River Plate sports club for 4 years after winning the elections by a very close margin in December 2009. [2]

One of the greatest defenders of all time, Passarella was also one of the most prolific defenders, at one point Passarella was football's top scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches (that record was since broken by Dutch defender Ronald Koeman).[3] In 2004, Passarella was named one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony.[4]

Club career[edit]

Passarella was born in Chacabuco, Buenos Aires province. He started his career at Sarmiento of Junin, Buenos Aires province. From there he joined River Plate, then Fiorentina of Italy and briefly, Internazionale. After his successful spell in the Serie A, he returned to River Plate, where he played until his retirement.

He was called "El Gran Capitán" (the Great Captain, nickname of Argentine Independence heroe José de San Martín) or "El Kaiser" (an allusion to Franz Beckenbauer) because of his leadership ability, his passion, and his organisational prowess on the field. He was a defender who often joined the attack, and helped generate and finish offensive plays. He was the top scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches, a record since broken by Dutch defender Ronald Koeman.[3]

His aerial game was effective both defensively and in attack. He scored frequent headers in spite of his average height (1.73 m). He was an excellent free kick and penalty shooter. He was also noted for using his elbows against rivals whilst managing to avoid the referee's gaze. Passarella and the Chilean Elias Figueroa are considered the best defenders in the history of South America.[5]

National career[edit]

One of the pillars of the Argentine national team, he eventually captained the side during the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina. He was the first Argentine player to hold the World Cup, as it was handed to him first when Argentina won the final. During the qualifying rounds of the 1986 World Cup, Passarella contributed to the goal which ensured Argentina's qualification in the final minutes of their match against Peru by allowing team-mate Ricardo Gareca to score.

A bout of enterocolitis meant that he missed the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He was replaced in the first team by defender José Luis Brown. Passarella had a fractious relationship with star player Diego Maradona and coach Carlos Bilardo during the tournament; he later claimed Bilardo and Maradona made sure that he was sidelined. Even so, by being a part of the squad, he became the only player to feature in both Argentina's World Cup-winning teams.

Coaching career[edit]

After his playing days were over, he became the coach of River Plate, where he won several national titles.

Appointed as coach of the Argentine national team to replace Alfio Basile, Passarella was coach during the qualification games for the 1998 World Cup and during the competition itself, which was held in France. Passarella held to close friend Américo Gallego as assistant coach. Passarella had banned long hair, earrings and homosexuals in his squad, leading to disputes with several players.[6][7] Fernando Redondo and Claudio Caniggia eventually refused to play for Passarella and were excluded from the squad.[8] Argentina's performances never reached the expected heights, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals after a last minute 2–1 defeat to the Netherlands. After the elimination, Passarella left the post and was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa.

Passarella then became coach of Uruguay, but he left the post during the qualifying games for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, after having problems summoning players from Uruguayan sides.

After that episode, Passarella had a brief and unsuccessful period as coach of Parma in Italy in 2001.

In 2003, he won the Mexican football league title with the team CF Monterrey. In March 2004, he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers. He was then hired as coach of Corinthians in Brazil, but was fired after a few months after a spell of bad results.

On 9 January 2006, he was appointed River Plate coach again after 12 years to occupy the vacancy left by Reinaldo Merlo's sudden departure. On 15 November 2007, he resigned as coach after River was beaten by penalties by Arsenal de Sarandí in the semi-finals of the Copa Sudamericana 2007.

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1974 River Plate Primera División 22 5
1975 29 9
1976 35 24
1977 40 13
1978 19 4
1979 38 9
1980 41 12
1981 42 14
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1982–83 Fiorentina Serie A 27 3 5 0 - - 2 0 34 3
1983–84 27 7
1984–85 26 5
1985–86 29 11
1986–87 Internazionale Serie A 23 3 8 4 - - 7 1 38 8
1987–88 21 6 8 1 - - 6 0 35 7
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
1988–89 River Plate Primera División 32 9
Total Argentina 298 99
Italy 153 35
Career total 451 134

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

River Plate
Argentina

Manager[edit]

River Plate
Monterrey

References[edit]

External links[edit]