Former Argentina National Team manager Alfio BASILE had a lot to say in a latest interview.
One of the most interesting characters in Argentinian football, Alfio BASILE did fairly well for himself as a character. On top of being the only person to ever coach both Diego MARADONA and Lionel MESSI, BASILE won four titles with Argentina and quiet a few with Boca Juniors and even Racing Club. A back to back Copa America winner (was also the last coach to ever win a trophy with Argentina), as well as the winner of the first ever Confederations Cup, BASILE managed to squeeze in an Artemio FRANCHI trophy in 1993 for his country.
Now retired, BASILE spoke to Oral Deportiva about Lionel MESSI, the World Cup, the 1994 World Cup and more. Here’s what he had to say:
Alfio BASILE on Manchester City
“Out of today’s teams, the one that attracts me the most is Manchester City.”
Alfio BASILE on Lionel MESSI, Argentina and the 2018 FIFA World Cup
“If the 10 (MESSI) is good, he can beat anyone; but if he’s not, it’s just another team, like is the case with Barcelona.
“I don’t know Iceland but we can’t be afraid of them. Nigeria, offensively, are phenomenons who play in the Premier League. Croatia plays well, they’re brave.
“SAMPAOLI is probably the only Argentinian coach I haven’t had the opportunity to meet.
“In Argentina, we have three goalscorers (HIGUAIN, AGUERO and ICARDI). I always think of HIGUAIN and AGUERO, who have been in Europe for a few years now. You can’t argue with AGUERO’s case. With MASCHERANO, you have to have him at the World Cup for experience and because he’s important for the group, but we’ll have to see if he plays in China.”
Alfio BASILE on Fernando GAGO
“I would look for a replacement but just as much, I’d wait. In my National Team, he always played, hopefully he’s good for the World Cup.”
Alfio BASILE on the 1994 FIFA World Cup
“It was the greatest disappointment of my footballing career. I was convinced we were going to be world champions. After that, I wasn’t able to get my revenge.
“MARADONA, 3 months before the World Cup, was at 104 kilograms and with the trainer, we got him to 74 kilograms. Diego was flying. After that came the ephedrine which does not make you a better footballer. Everything was said about Diego’s suspension but it was ephedrine. I read the FIFA report.
“When HAVELANGE saw how MARADONA was, he said “they’re going to be world champions” but it was the last chance he had that Brazil become champions under his direction at FIFA. In 1994, we were going to play the final against Italy.
Alfio BASILE on retirement
“I retired because I got tired of everything: Of concentrating, of the every day problems… It’s difficult to get to the young players these days.”