César Luis Menotti
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Menotti during his tenure as manager
of FC Barcelona, 1983
|Date of birth||5 November 1938|
|Place of birth||Rosario, Argentina|
|1967–1968?||New York Generals||?|
|1969||Clube Atlético Juventus||?||(?)|
|1970||Newell's Old Boys|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 2007.
César Luis Menotti (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsesaɾ ˈlwis meˈnoti]), known as El Flaco ("the slim one") (born 5 November 1938), is an Argentine football coach and former player who, as coach, won the 1978 FIFA World Cup for Argentina. He played as a striker.
Menotti grew up in the Fisherton district of Rosario and played for local clubs before a scout for Rosario Central picked him up. He played in the youth divisions while attending high school (he graduated as a chemical technician) and was signed by Central. He also played for the Argentine national football team and Santos FC.
Early managerial career
After retiring from play, he became friends with coach Miguel "Gitano" Juárez, with whom he traveled to the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Fascinated by the Brazilian style of play led by his pal Pele, he decided to become a coach himself.
He was appointed Argentina coach in October 1974.
1978 World Cup
He was the coach of Argentina when they won their first World Cup, defeating Netherlands in the final.
Between 1978 and 1982
In the final months of 1978, when Menotti's contract was due to expire, he played a game of brinkmanship with the Argentine Football Association, which ultimately agreed to his demanding terms, both financially and professionally. Menotti's team included assistant coaches Rogelio Poncini and Roberto Saporiti, as well as fitness trainer Ricardo Pizzarotti and physician Rubén Oliva.
World Cup 1982
Argentina lost to Belgium in the opening match. The team started with Fillol; Olguin, Galvan, Passarella, Tarantini; Ardiles, Gallego, Maradona; Bertoni, Diaz, and Kempes.
In the 1982 World Cup, Menotti deployed the same defenders as in 1978.
Personality, influence and political views
Menotti always displayed a rebellious streak and cultivated an image of coolness. He wore long hair, dressed casually, and used to drop references to cultural icons in his conversations, from writer Ernesto Sabato to singer Joan Manuel Serrat. He was opinionated on politics, projecting a left-wing socialist image that contrasted with his holding a very visible post during the right-wing military dictatorship.
Menotti famously proclaimed that:
There's a right-wing football and a left-wing football. Right-wing football wants to suggest that life is struggle. It demands sacrifices. We have to become of steel and win by any method... obey and function, that's what those with power want from the players. That's how they create retards, useful idiots that go with the system.
- Jonathan Wilson (16 March 2011). "Get-well wishes to Argentina's El Flaco whose football moved the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Tim Vickery (18 March 2002). "Menotti goes back to his roots". BBC. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "MENOTTI Cesar Luis: El Flaco Menotti raised Argentina's game". Classic Football. FIFA. Archived from the original on 17 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "Cesar Luis Menotti (1983-84)". History. FC Barcelona. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- Jonathan Wilson, Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics, page 335
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