"I remember a national team training session
back in 1977 when I played particularly well. Menotti took me to
one side to talk in private, and he said he was considering giving
me my debut in a friendly against Hungary. Every time
El Flaco spoke I went deathly quiet inside. That was
El Flaco was God!
Diego Maradona, who made his national team debut under Menotti
"He always knew exactly what to say to motivate his
players. And he was always very calm. We only saw him get really
angry once: just before extra time in the Final against the
Netherlands. He looked at us and said, 'Look around you. There
are 80,000 of us and eleven of them. We're not going to lose,
are we?' It was the type of shock tactic that the team needed.
We took to the field again certain we'd win and we made the
Daniel Passarella, captain of Argentina at the 1978 FIFA World Cup
"He's a guy who puts a lot of faith in his players. He
knows how to motivate them. He'd bump into you in a corridor
and he'd say: 'Tomorrow's going to be your big day,
you're going to be the best. We're the best and you're
going to prove it tomorrow.' He'd give you so much
encouragement that you'd take to the pitch thinking you were
the best player on the park."
Daniel Bertoni, member of the 1978 FIFA World Cup-winning side
"Cesar's time in charge changed the national team
forever. Before, a lot of players preferred not to be called up,
they'd rather stay with their club sides.
El Flaco turned everything around, he enhanced the
team's reputation and led us to our first major titles."
Leopoldo Luque, member of the 1978 FIFA World Cup-winning side
"He was a pioneering figure in properly organising the game
in Argentina. He organised international fixtures, won a world
title and helped Argentina become well-respected abroad. He's a
very straightforward guy. In his pre-match talk before the Final
against the Netherlands, he just reminded us how much hard work it
had taken to get that far and that we couldn't let them beat
us. That was it."
Alberto Tarantini, member of the 1978 FIFA World Cup-winning side
"He's a leader, an exceptional human being. He
convinced us that we could win it all and he always stayed true to
his beliefs. Some of us were a bit surprised that he went on to
coach us after winning the World Cup with the senior side, but he
explained that he was doing it because he believed we could be
crowned champions. He was a tremendous motivator. From my own
personal point of view, it was his teachings that enabled me to
play in European football for so many years."
Gabriel Calderon, a FIFA World Youth Championship winner in 1979