Csar Luis Menotti, world champion with Argentina and former Barcelona coach, dies at 85

Cesar Luis Menotti, the former Atletico Madrid and Barcelona coach who also won the World Cup, has passed away at the age of 85.

The Argentinian icon died on Sunday after battling a long illness that had kept him out of public life in recent months.

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He had been hospitalized for a month with severe anemia before his death, according to reports.

Menotti was in charge of the Argentina team that won the World Cup in 1978 when they beat Netherlands in the final on their home turf.

His death was officially announced by the AFA, the Argentine Football Association, where ‘El Flaco’ was, in fact, director of national teams until very recently.

“The Argentine Football Association regrets to inform with great sadness the death of Cesar Luis Menotti, current Director of National Teams and former World Cup winning coach of Argentina,” the AFA posted on its official X account, formerly known as Twitter.

One of football’s true heroes

In his home nation and in Spain, Menotti was viewed as one of the greatest heroes in the history of football. As a player, he spent most of his career in South America with Boca Juniors and Brazilian side Santos, before moving into management in 1970.

He created a pioneering social and football philosophy that, for years, was opposed in Argentina and around the world. Carlos Salvador Bilardo, creator of Bilardismo, who prioritized winning above all else, was using football as an artistic expression, which Menotti-ism promulgated.

Menotti was appointed Barcelona head coach in 1983, helping them to win the Copa del Rey, Copa de la Liga and the Supercopa de Espaa before leaving in 1984.

In January 2019, he was named as the director of the Argentina national teams, but was forced to step down as his health took a turn for the worse.

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