Those ‘old’ enough to remember USA ’94 will remember him and, most importantly, the way that Argentina team played. With players like Diego MARADONA, Gabriel BATISTUTA, Claudio CANIGGIA, Diego SIMEONE and Fernando REDONDO to name a few, Argentina was one of the more attractive teams and some magical displays turned them into the hot favourites to win it all.
But tragedy struck and Diego MARADONA tested positive in a doping control and soon it was all over. Not only because our star player was banned from the World Cup, but more because the morale dropped like a bomb and we couldn’t managed to make 2 passes in a row.
In any case, Alfio BASILE’s story starts way before all those events and here I’ve prepared a couple of facts and figures for you to know him better.
Born on November the 1st, 1943 in Bahia Blanca (a city 800 kms to the south of Buenos Aires in the same province of the capital city. Just as a curiosity, it’s the home town of basketball legend Manu GINOBILI and Boca Juniors’ star and national team member: Rodrigo PALACIO).
He started his career as a footballer playing for Bahia Blanca’s local team BELLA VISTA as a tall, strong, hard tackler central defender.
Later on, he became a key figure in that incredible RACING CLUB’s (yeah baby!) team that was undefeated for 39 matches, winning the league in 1966 and then becoming the first team from Argentina to win the European-South American Cup, beating CELTIC (Scotland) in three final matches.
Before his retirement from football, he won another national league in 1973 with HURACAN (a Buenos Aires club which name means: “HURRICANE”) with Cesar Luis MENOTTI as a manager.
Started off as a manager and throughout his career he has managed: Chacarita Jrs., Racing (Cordoba), Instituto (Cordoba), Rosario Central, Racing Club, Huracan, Velez Sarsfield, Talleres (Cordoba), Nacional (Uruguay), Atletico Madrid (Spain), San Lorenzo (1998) and America (Mexico) 2000/2001.
After winning promotion back to the first division with Racing in 1985, he won the first edition of the Supercopa (a tournament played between all the Copa Libertadores winners) in 1988.
And soon after, Julio GRONDONA trusted him to take care of Argentina, replacing Carlos Salvador BILARDO after Italy ’90.
He won the Copa America in Chile 1991 with an incredible team (Gabriel BATISTUTA, Diego SIMEONE and Claudio CANIGGIA being the stand out performers).
He repeated that title in Ecuador 1993, not playing so greatly and suffering before beating Mexico 2-0 in the final match with a brilliant Gabriel BATISTUTA again.
With Argentina he has an impressive record of 49 matches with 26 wins, 17 draws and only 6 defeats.
Then the mentioned fate in the USA 94 World Cup when we crashed in eight finals against Romania and amongst other achievements we can find the 33 matches undefeated, the Kirin Cup in 1992, the King Fahd Cup in 1992 and the Franchi Cup in 1993 (all of them being minor friendly cups).
Back from his experience at America (Mexico’s most popular team) he was hired by Boca Juniors (Argentina’s most popular team). He managed in four competitions and he won all of them. Two league titles plus the South American Recopa (Cup winners cup) and the South American Cup (something like the UEFA Cup).
Those are some quick facts about him and his career.
I think Argentina is in good hands.