Daniel Alberto Passarella, born May 25th 1953, was one
of the most commanding sweepers/defenders in World Cup
history. He was the perfect leader for any team, and
became captain for both club and country at an early
age. Despite being only 174cm, he was exceptional in
the air and scored an impressive amount of goals by
headers from corners or free-kicks.
Passarella was an unusual player. His scoring record
is quite unique for a defender. In 298 matches in the
Argentine league, he scored 99 goals. And when he
moved to Italy to play for Fiorentina and later Inter
Milan, his goalscoring continued, and he still holds
the record in Serie A for goals scored by a defender.
Even on international level he scored lots of goals.
He won 70 caps for Argentina and scored 22 goals!
He won lots of honours in the game. Several league
championships with River Plate in Argentina, which was
the club he served most of his career. But the
highlight was of course to win the World Cup in 1978
on homesoil. He was 25 years old and captained
Argentina to victory. A proud moment for "El Gran
Capitan" (The great captain). The final itself
was played on Passarella's homeground, Estadio
Monumental. Four years later in 1982, Argentina failed
to reach the semifinals. A Passarella free-kick
against Italy wasn't enough to avoid defeat.
In Mexico 1986, at 33, he was included in the squad,
but got injured and didn't play a minute in the
tournament Argentina went on to win. In 1989 he
retired playing for his beloved River Plate. He took
over as national coach for Argentina in 1994 and led
them to the quarterfinals in France 1998 before
retiring from the job.