FIFA World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo turns 82 today
Myths? We put five intriguing true-or-false questions to 'The Doctor'
Did Argentina rehearse celebrations? Did Maradona use his hand?
A former footballer and coach, a world champion, and a trained gynaecologist. There is only one figure who fits this description: Carlos Bilardo. 'The Doctor', as he is nicknamed, guided Argentina to glory at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™. He is a man of many attributes, but there are two that stand out above the rest: his obsession with tactics and his famously superstitious nature.
Decades after his crowning moment on Mexican soil, the Argentinian agreed to sit down with FIFA.com to offer an insight into that triumph and debunk a few myths along the way.
"There was no faith in that team. No one went to see them off at the airport," has been a much-repeated refrain among older members of Argentinian society. Was that really the case? Bilardo revealed all in a conversation covering a whole host of subjects over which question marks have hovered for the last three decades.
Is it true that the team were barred from eating certain foods out of superstition? Did he really not celebrate the Final victory because his side had conceded twice from set-pieces? Did this mean he never touched the Trophy? Oh, and incidentally, from his point of view, did Diego Maradona punch home his first goal against England?
To find out the ins and outs of Argentina's Mexico 1986 exploits and separate the facts from fiction, who better to ask than Carlos Bilardo? So wait no more: discover the answers he gave to FIFA.com.