Eighty years, 18 World Cups, a million memories
The 1986 champions are often derided as Diego Maradona plus 10 others, but proud Argentinian Martin Mazur brings you right up to date...
Goalkeeper: NERY PUMPIDO A year after winning the World Cup, he almost lost a finger when his wedding ring got stuck in a goal-frame fixing during training. Successfuly repaired, he then broke a leg during Argentina’s second game in Italy 1990. As a manager, he won the Copa Libertadores with Paraguay’s Olimpia in 2002. Now sporting director of Union.
Sweeper: JOSE LUIS BROWN Always defined as ‘on-pitch manager’ by Carlos Bilardo, who appointed him as his assistant at Boca Juniors in 1996. Currently manages the Argentina’s U17 team. After his side’s elimination in the 2009 World Cup, he said “I’d happily dig a pit and bury myself here.”
Defender: JOSE LUIS CUCIUFFOAfter retiring in 1994, the utility player opened a bar and founded a football school that taught Japanese kids. A big hunting fan, he died in December 2004 at the age of 43, accidentally shot by one of the rifles he was carrying.
Defender: OSCAR RUGGERIAn Albiceleste icon, he amassed a record 97 caps, helping Argentina win two Copa Americas and playing at Italia 90 and USA 94. Also South America’s 1991 Football of the Year. Unemployed as a manager since 2006, he was wanted by Maradona as assistant coach, but FA president Julio Grondona declined.
Midfielder: RICARDO GIUSTIThe holding player turned inside out by John Barnes in the latter stages of the quarter-final was a key player at Italia 90. Now an agent, in December 2000, he crashed into a tractor. He survived, but his wife died.
Midfielder: SERGIO BATISTAThe bearded short-pass master who inspired the likes of Fernando Redondo developed a cocaine problem in the 1990s. Fully recovered, he is currently Argentina’s U20 manager, having guided the team to Olympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008.
Midfielder: HECTOR ENRIQUEAfter a busy 1986 winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup (both with River Plate) to go with the World Cup, the right-winger moved to Lanus, then played in the J-League. Recently hired by Maradona as Argentina’s, er, goalkeeping coach?!
Midfielder: JULIO OLARTICOECHEAEarnt a move to Nantes on the back of his World Cup performances, but returned to Argentina after just one season. Performed well at Italia 90. Currently works as assistant manager of the U17 team.
Midfielder: JORGE BURRUCHAGA
The scorer of the winner in the final was involved in a match-fixing scandal at Valenciennes, in France, and was suspended for 18 months in 1994. Has shown a far more defensive approach as a coach than he did as a player and has had moderate success with small clubs.
Striker: JORGE VALDANOKept reading books, as he did during that World Cup in Mexico. After retiring from football he settled in Spain, where he became a successful manager, first at Tenerife, then at Real Madrid. Articulate and intelligent, he took over as Real Madrid sports director and shaped the Galactico era for Florentino Perez. Now both are back.
Striker: DIEGO MARADONAWhere have you all been hiding for the last 25 years? Guided Napoli to another league title, post World Cup, and Argentina to another World Cup final. Then came problems with drugs (recreational and performance-enhancing), controversy and an unlikely return to Argentina colours as manager. Whatever next?
Substitute: NESTOR CLAUSENThe right-back had a successful career in Switzerland but failed to impress back in Argentina. A largely unsuccessful managerial career has thus far taken in Bolivia, Switzerland, Oman and Kuwait.
Substitute: PEDRO PASCULLI
The only out-and-out striker in the squad, who scored a vital goal against Uruguay, settled in Italy, becoming a legend at Lecce. Coached the Ugandan national team and in Albania before being appointed as manager of the Italian beach soccer national team.
Manager: CARLOS BILARDO
Still angry for conceding two goals from corners in the 1986 final, El Narigon (‘Big Nose’) failed at Sevilla, Boca Juniors and Estudiantes, but dismissed his critics by saying: “I only discuss with Beckenbauer.” Briefly coached Libya before trying to run for the Argentinian presidency. Now Argentina’s national team director.
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Ahhh but you failed to mention what happened to the team, losing to Uruguay @ Buenos Aires by a 1-0 score in the '87 Copa America.
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