Former Argentina World Cup coach Sabella dies

By: AFP      Published: 02:34 AM, 9 Dec, 2020
Former Argentina World Cup coach Sabella dies
Alejandro Sabella led the national team to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.–File photo

Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella, who led the national team to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has died at the age of 66 from cancer, local media reported on Tuesday.

Sabella, who played for Leeds United and Sheffield United during his career as a midfielder, had picked up a virus while receiving treatment in a Buenos Aires clinic and his health deteriorated.

A former player and coach with Estudiantes, where he won the Argentine title as a player and the Copa Libertadores when the boss, the silky midfielder also played for Argentine giants River Plate, winning the league there too.

His coaching career was short, though, spending two years with Estudiantes and three more in charge of the national team.

But his tenure ended with a 1-0 defeat to Germany in the World Cup final as Lionel Messi failed to inspire Argentina to a third title.

As a coach he focused on the team ethic and was popular amongst his players.

And while Messi couldn't inspire his team to World Cup victory, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner scored the clincher against Sabella's Estudiantes team in 2009 in the Club World Cup final for a star-studded Barcelona coached by Pep Guardiola.