Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Who is Alfio 'COCO' BASILE?

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.



Seba said...

Two short ones before I go to bed:

1. Estudiantes have lost their Copa Libertadores match after the penalty shoot-out (match ended 0-1). Velez Sarsfield is Argentina's only hope this year in the tournament. They face CHIVAS DE GUADALAJARA (Mexico) tomorrow -July 20th).

2. If BASILE agrees to take care of Argentina, guess who could be on his way to replace him at Boca Juniors?


See you tomorrow!

Anonymous said...


I remember USA '94. Maradona scored the nice goal against Greece.

Asian Fan

Anonymous said...


I too remember how great was our team back in 1994. First game against Greece we produce an outstanding performance by winning 4-0. Then that game against Nigeria. The moment Samson Sia Sia scored the opening goal, I bet that the world must be wondering is this going to be an Argentina-Cameroon Part II. No!!!. Maradona inspired in that brilliant comeback, with Caniggia scoring twice. Then it was heartbreak as we lost to Bulgaria and Romania.

And because of the first 2 games I believe in what Senor Coco can produce for our team. In Basile we trust.

Vamos Argentina!!!


Cantona said...

yep 94' was a reall rollercoaster ride.Some highs but ultimately a very bad low.
Well his record can't be touched and the trophies he has won command a lot of respect but my only concern is how good of a man manager is he?
Most older managers are stuck in their ways and put tactics and dicipline higher on the pecking order than player morale and especially with so many young players player morale over the next 4 years will be very important

Anonymous said...


I remembered Caniggia's goal following free-kick from Maradona as well in '94!

Asian Fan

Anonymous said...

Asian Fan,

Yeah!!! It was a great goal wasn’t it. After that match I truly had this believe with Diego in the team we could go all the way. I remember waking at 7 in the morning (Friday morning to be exact) to watch the Argentina-Bulgaria game. If we had won that game, we could have been the first team to collect 9 points from the group stage (USA’94 for the first time 3-point for a win was used). It was then I heard the news that Maradona is banned from the tournament. Then we lost Caniggia to injury during the game. And then everything fell apart. We lost that game and later were knocked out by Romania.

A real bittersweet memory back then


joey said...

I read that Boca Junior is already looking for a new coach.

That's good. It seems that Boca is ready to let him leave.

Yes, everyone remember Maradona's wonderful goal against Greece in 94. A fantastic finish after a dozen great passes, kind of like Cambiasso's goal aginst Servia.

That is the lasting memory I have of Maradona on teh soccer field, where he is the king.

Seba said...

Speaking of Diego, GRONDONA said that before he is able to manage Argentina he should get some more experience.

However, he has give him an invitation to join the ALBICELESTE staff.

As for USA '94, I remember being with the calculator in one hand watching Argentina vs. Bulgaria. The reason was because we depended on goal difference. I don't remember exactly, but the chances were to continue playing in Boston (winning the group), travel to Dallas or New York (don't remember exactly) if we were second or (the most feared situation) go all the way across America to play in Los Angeles if we finished third. And that was exactly what happened.

And finally I want to ask you a question:

Did you ever see a nurse coming to the field of play after a football match to pick up a player and take him to the drug test?

I'm not saying Diego was innocent, all I'm saying is that I've never seen a nurse on the pitch before or after that famous time when she came and took Diego by the hand.


Anonymous said...

I'm happy Basile got offered the job. From what I read though, the head honchos at Boca are more than an a little annoyed, especially after losing Abondanzieri to Getafe...
In other news (I didn't know if you were going to bring it up Seba since it doesn't really concern Argentina) Zidane and Materazzi have both been banned and fined. Zidane for 3 matches and $7500 and Materazzi for 2 matches and $5000. Isn't that ridiculous? A 'Yo Momma' joke that no one but Zidane heard is worth 2/3 of a headbutt that millions saw?

Seba said...

Ridiculous ban! MATTERAZZI should have been banned from all activity a long time ago. Did you see that elbow on Juan Pablo SORIN's eye in a Champions League match (Villarreal vs. Inter)?

Other news aswell:

CANNAVARO and EMERSON signed with Real Madrid.

THURAM and ZAMBROTTA will go to FC Barcelona.

First top players to leave Juve. Who'll be next?

Joey said...

I was still back in China in 91 and 93 and I watched all games Arg played in Copa America. I really loved that Arg squad, and that's when Chinese fans first know the great Batigol.

The players I want to see in the future Arg squad:

Forwards: Tevez, Saviola, and Messi (KUN as sub)
midfield: Aimar, Maxi, Mascherano, Gago

I have never seen Gago play but since everyone says he is Basile's favorite, I will include him as well.

Whoever plays in the defense line I hope they play well.

Anonymous said...

Seba, I consider it to be ridiculous because Materazzi is being punished for verbally provoking Zidane and from the looks of it, the provocation fell within the normal realm of 'trash talk.' Don't get me wrong, I consider Materazzi to pretty much be a thug most of the time and I was upset when he elbowed Sorin, but in this case FIFA just made a really strange decision.
What I'm concerned about now is that they are establishing precedent that any time a player reacts violently that they can blame it on the other guy because they were 'provoked.' Are all of the players going to wear microphones now? Trash talk is a normal part of ANY sport, it's ridiculous that they are now punishing players for engaging in it since there is no way to regulate it. It was just a stupid move on FIFA's part.

Un argentino en California said...

Ok, I give up.
I support Basile. I only hope he put the best of the best in the offensive.

An less we will get two southamerican cups and a couple of non important trophies. And them once we believe we are the best we will classify for Sudafrica winning against Java the lucky game.
I saw this movi, really.
Luckly Grondona passes away before sudafrica 2010 and we get to see Bianchi as our new leader.


Seba said...

Well, there is a rumour saying that GRONDONA tried again to offer BIANCHI the job and he said "NO".

So I don't think GRONDONA should resign only because BIANCHI doesn't like him. If you want Argentina so badly, you'll leave your differences behind and accept the manager job.

Im not saying BASILE is the greatest of all times because he won 2 Copa America and a few friendly cups, I'm saying Argentina under him played the best football I remember from the Albiceleste (the exception being that 3-1 against Brazil for the World Cup Qualifiers and Serbia & Montenegro in this World Cup under PEKERMAN).

I also think BASILE was a victim of outside-the-pitch events (the Diego scandal in 1994) and his defeats came under that extrange situation.

As for the trash-talking thing, of course I agree with you! Even the great Michael JORDAN was a pure trash talker and nobody can deny he was the greatest of all times!

What about Mohammad ALI?

I think trash-talking is a part of the game's soul and it shouldn't be taken away from it. Of course I make exceptions when that trash talking includes racist insults.

In any case, unless the referee hear somebody racially abusing a rival, it's pretty hard to prove and punish.

Anyway, I'm not surprise by another ridiculous disciplinary measure taken by FIFA.

joey said...

About trash talk, why should only racist insults being punished? Is it any worse for a racist insult than cursing of someone's mother, wife or sister?

My point is, if you want to punish trash talk, then you have to punish all of them. Only punishing racist insults and let go insults agaist mother, wife, sister, or whateve, is really unfair.

Now we run into the real problem: what kind of trash talk is worth punishing and what is not?

Seba said...

You have a point and by the way, I'm not defending that kind of insults.

The 'good' trash talking is that of: "Look, I'm going to score every time I touch the ball as long as it's you the one who have to defend against me"; "You're rubbish and you know you are" or stuff like that.

Stuff that dies on the pitch and none of the players takes it with them.

Seba said...

Kind of off-topic here, but I would like to thank again Mohammad for the great images he is working on to illustrate this blog.

The new additions can be seen in a couple of previous posts.

Muchas gracias Mohammad!

joey said...

A very quick question:

16th. Friendly match against South Africa in Cape Town

Where on earth is this Cape Town? In South Africa or Argentina?

I sure want to see Basile put on a strong team and made a strong announcement about a new era.

Hi, guys, we talk here as if Basile is already the coach. What if he actually decline the offer???

Seba said...

Cape Town is in South Africa. But the latest is that the match was postponed.

See my comments on the CALENDAR post.

I've got to runnnnnnnn!

Joey said...


That's actually reasonable. You have got to give the new coach some time to prepare for the match.

Sometime like Sep or Oct is the best time.

Most Chinese fans here still think Bianchi is the best choice. Maybe because he is the most famous Arg coach.

Anonymous said...

With Basile at the helm, the Albiceleste will move on to greater heights.

Papua New Guinea

Joey said...

By the way, seba, why are you against BIANCHI?

Do you just want to see attacking soccer, or do you want to see Arg win world cup?

I am not saying you are definitely not going to win world cup with attacking soccer, but chances are very, very small, judged by the past experience.

The key point is that you need a balanced team. I think BIANCHI knows that well.

Cantona said...

Two things i wanna comment on, both not concerning argentina:

1) the ban and fine given to materazzi is a disgrace and sets a very dangerous precent cause now for every violent act fifa will have to examine the provocation behind it. So daniel de rossi could have easily said the american insulted my mother thats why i elbowed him in the head or totti could have said it about the korean in 2002'. I think FIFA has shot themselves in the foot with this one.

2) about the juve exodus apart from the departed four, del piero( the heart and soul of juve), nedved and buffon have agreed to stay on and help the team. This show of loyalty is heartwarming especially in these financial times.
Plyers who could soon leave: Trezeguet, Ibrahimovic, viera, camonaresi

Seba said...

Joey, I'm not against BIANCHI.

In any case he can't guarantee a World Cup title!!!!!

I just don't think Argentina should play defensively. I don't care if Greece and Italy have shown they can win by defending greatly. I think Argentina should try and find the way to win with a different style.

We don't have the players to use a defensive system. We have plenty of flair in attacking positions. Let's use it!

BASILE will use it.

I'm not sure BIANCHI would. In fact, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't.

And you were the one talking about the need of having European experience as a manager. Take BIANCHI as an example and see the sound disappointments he had at AC Roma and Atletico Madrid where he was fired in both cases.

Look, I think BIANCHI is highly qualified. I just don't like the way his teams play.

Neither BIANCHI or BASILE can guarantee success in the World Cup, but if we're gonna have a shot at that, I prefer we do it the BASILE's way.

Let the other teams focus on defense and lets play some beautiful football.

Seba said...

In other news, Velez Sarsfield have lost 2-1 to Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexico) and they are also out of the Copa Libertadores.

3 Argentine teams in the quarterfinals, none in the semis.

Bad run of results.

Hope we have better luck next year (and hope Racing can qualify soon!)

joey said...

Cantona, I have to agree with you and it is a very bad idea to punish Materazzi.

For a while I believed that Materazzi plotted the whole thing before the final and carried it out purposedly. But now I think that is not the case.

I have to say it is simply because this is Zidane's farewell match, in world cup final. Any non-Italian must be hugely disappointed and angry to see the most talented player of the generation to leave in such a disgrace.

Materazzi became the villain. Because everyone wants to blame somebody else for this incidence.

If it happened to anyone else and any other game, it won't work out that way.

joey said...

OK, OK, Seba, I quit. Let's all hope Basile is going to do a great job.

Actually whoever takes this job I wish him best luck.

The only ones that I really don't want to see in this position are Maradona and Batigol. I don't believe Diego will be successful no matter how hard he tries, and I simply love Batigol too much to see him fail.

But hi, I think it is good idea either Maradona or Batogol as your manager (but not coach), kind of like what Bierhoff's position in German. Is there a similiar position in the Arg squad?

Seba said...

There is not a similar position so far, but it could be implemented to give Diego a place in the staff.

I would welcome that opportunity as it will give Diego a great experience and knowing his troubles from the past, it's always good for him to be busy and happy. And I'm sure there are very few other places for him to be happier outside the Albiceleste.

Mengzhao said...

I am not surprised to see any ridiculous decision made by FIFA coz it is the most corrupted sports organization I have ever seen. They manipulated the games by controlling the lottery, referees and even drug test. The lottery always makes some ridiculous grouping results to favor the host country; referees always favor the traditionally stronger team over the weaker team; the European team over the Non-European team; the drug test is used to punish these players who don’t show respect to FIFA.

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