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Updated on June 19th 2021, 6:57:09 am

Alfio Basile: The only man who coached both Maradona and Messi

Alfio Basile, nicknamed Coco, is an Argentine football coach and former player. Before becoming a manager, he played for Racing Club de Avellaneda and Huracán. He is the only man who coached both Maradona and Messi.

Alfio Basile, nicknamed Coco, is an Argentine football coach and former player. Before becoming a manager, he played for Racing Club de Avellaneda and Huracán. During his career, he coached a number of teams, including Racing Club de Avellaneda (where he won the Supercopa Libertadores, the club's first international trophy since 1967), the Argentina national team (where he won four titles), and Boca Juniors, where he won five trophies in two years. Basile's last team was Racing Club de Avellaneda, with whom he parted ways in 2012. Basile has not managed a team since leaving Racing, claiming to be "retired" from the sport.


Argentina will be hoping to end an international drought that dates back to 1993 at this summer's Copa America. It's difficult to believe it's been 28 years since they've won anything. Despite the fact that it has produced a plethora of great talents through the years. When Argentina won the Copa America in 1993, Basile was the final individual to ever guide the team to a senior title.


After losing to Germany in the final of Italia 90, Argentina was in despair. After getting his runners-up medal, Diego Maradona, who led his team to the final, was disappointed. He and Bilardo would go into exile, unable to do anything more for a country that was floundering on the international stage. The Argentine Football Association's (AFA) hunt for a new manager led them to Alfio Basile, a charismatic person. His first task was to get the team ready for the 1991 Copa América held in Chile. With a perfect mixture of young and experienced players, he led his squad to victory in the competition.


Batistuta had created a formidable connection with Caniggia, after winning the Golden Boot award in Chile with six goals. Argentina was given the opportunity to compete in the King Fahd Cup after winning the Copa América. This tournament, which was held in Saudi Arabia, was the forerunner to what is currently known as the Confederations Cup. They met the host nation in the final, who had dispatched the US previously. Argentina won 3-1, and Redondo was chosen the best player in the tournament.


Basile's team had gone another year without losing. In the middle of preparing to herald in the new year, Diego Maradona indicated that he was ready to make his comeback to the national team in early 1993. There were still some doubts about his fitness levels and if he was still capable of performing. Despite this, Basile called him up for the first time in two years. Ecuador hosted the Copa América in 1993. Argentina began as one of the favourites, with the core of the squad unchanged from two years prior. In the final, Argentina would meet Mexico, who were seeking to make history by becoming the first and only invited winners in history. Argentina ran out winners beating Mexico on penalties.


Argentina began the 1994 World Cup with two convincing victories over Greece and Nigeria. However, there was shortly to be a backlash. After the Nigeria match, Maradona was tested for doping and was suspended after ephedrine was discovered in his sample. Despite advancing to the last 16 despite losing 2-0 to Bulgaria, Argentina's spirit was broken and the team was eliminated after losing to Romania. Argentina's silver-laden years came to an end as Basile's first term in charge drew to an end. Basile returned to club football, managing Atlético Madrid, Racing Club, San Lorenzo, Club América, and Colôn Santa Fe with varying degrees of success.


He was given the position of Argentina national football team coach again in July 2006, and he accepted it, succeeding José Pekerman. Basile accepted the assignment because he couldn't pass up the opportunity to manage a young Lionel Messi. His second spell, however, was nothing like the first. Argentina was unable to win the 2007 Copa América after losing in the final against Brazil. He stood down for the team's sake after a spate of disappointing results during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.


Basile holds a unique position in football as the only man to have managed both Maradona and Messi, despite his second term failing and his first ending in disappointment. Alfio Basile merits his position within the pantheon of great Argentina managers with those titles alone, the final pieces of silverware won by Argentina, excepting two Olympic golds.