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Daniel Alberto Passarella (born 25 May 1953 in Chacabucomarker, Buenos Aires provincemarker) is a former Argentinemarker football centre back and former manager of the Argentine and Uruguayan national football teams. He was captain of the Argentina team that won the 1978 World Cup.

Club playing career

Passarella started his career at Sarmiento of Juninmarker, Buenos Aires province. From there he joined River Plate, then Fiorentina of Italy and briefly, Internazionale. After his successful spell in the Serie A, he returned to River Plate, where he played until his retirement.

He was called "El Gran Capit√°n" (the great captain) or "El Kaiser" (an allusion to Franz Beckenbauer) because of his leadership ability, his passion, and his organisation prowess on the field. He was a defender who often joined the attack, and helped generate and finish offensive plays. At some point, he became football's top scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches (that record was since broken by Dutchmarker defender Ronald Koeman).

His aerial game was effective both defensively and in attack. He scored frequently on headers in spite of his average height (1.73 m). He was a quality free kick and penalty shooter. He was also noted for using his elbows against rivals whilst managing to avoid the referee's gaze.

National team playing career

One of the pillars of the Argentine national team, he eventually captained the side during the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina. He was the first Argentine player to hold the World Cup, as it was handed to him first when Argentina won the final. During the qualifying rounds of the 1986 World Cup, Passarella contributed to the goal which ensured Argentina's qualification in the final minutes of their match against Peru by allowing team-mate Ricardo Gareca to score.

A bout of enterocolitis meant that he missed the 1986 World Cup in Mexicomarker. He was replaced in the first team by defender José Luis Brown. Passarella had a fractious relationship with star player Diego Maradona and coach Carlos Bilardo during the tournament; he later claimed Bilardo and Maradona made sure that he was sidelined. Even so, by being a part of the squad, he became the only player to feature in both Argentina's World Cup-winning teams.

Coaching career

After his playing days were over, he became the coach of River Plate, where he won several national titles.

Appointed as coach of the Argentine national team to replace Alfio Basile, Passarella was coach during the qualification games for the 1998 World Cup and during the competition itself, which was held in Francemarker. Passarella held to close friend Américo Gallego as assistant coach. Argentina's performances never reached the expected heights, and the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals after a last minute 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands. After the elimination, Passarella left the post and was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa.

Passarella then became coach of Uruguay, but he left the post during the qualifying games for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, after having problems summoning players from Uruguayan sides.

After that episode, Passarella had a brief and unsuccessful period as coach of Parma in Italy in 2001.

In 2003, he won the Mexican football league title with the team CF Monterrey. In March 2004, he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers. He was then hired as coach of Corinthians in Brazilmarker, but was fired after a few months after a spell of bad results.

Some character issues associated with the "Kaiser" have irked the Argentine press and fans over the years. Some examples include:

  • When coaching the Argentine national team, Passarella made it known that he would not tolerate long hair and earrings. This provided a soap-opera-like quality to his (otherwise acceptable) relationship with stars like Gabriel Batistuta and Juan Sebasti√°n Ver√≥n.
  • As national coach, Passarella would invent excuses for lost matches. After a loss to Ecuador on 2 June 1996, he said that "in the height of Quitomarker, the ball won't curve."[65279]

On 9 January 2006, he was appointed River Plate coach again after 12 years to occupy the vacancy left by Reinaldo Merlo's sudden departure. On 15 November 2007, he resigned as coach after their shock defeat to Arsenal de Sarandí in the semi-finals of the Copa Sudamericana 2007.

Career statistics


As Player


Primera División Argentina- 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981
1978 World Cup
1986 World Cup

As Manager


  1. "The World's most successful Top Division Goal Scorers of all time among defensive players" by the IFFHS.

External links

1974 River Plate Primera División 22 5
1975 29 9
1976 35 24
1977 40 13
1978 19 4
1979 38 9
1980 41 12
1981 42 14

1982-83 Fiorentina Serie A 27 3
1983-84 27 7
1984-85 26 5
1985-86 29 11
1986-87 Internazionale Serie A 23 3
1987-88 21 6

1988-89 River Plate Primera División 32 9

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