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It has been a while: The only Latino coaches to win the Champions League

Only these two Latin American have lifted the most important trophy in Europe at club level as managers, the last one was achieved 56 years ago.

Italian footballer Alessandro

Photo: Carlotta Vanni

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Bacallado Gómez

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Leer en español: Hace mucho: Los únicos técnicos latinos que ganaron la Champions League

Undoubtedly, Europe is the pinnacle of world soccer, as it is where more money moves and receives the most attention from the media, but, despite the fact that soccer in South America has not reached that level, it has historically contributed players in the same way. Relevant to the old continent to the point of being considered among the best of all time, clear examples can be Maradona, Pelé, Ronaldo Nazario, Lionel Messi, among others.

At the level of DTs, the opposite occurs, South American coaches fail to have a resounding success in European clubs and although there are some renowned ones who have won national championships, the first to lift the Champions League has not appeared since changed the format in 1992. In the last decade, Argentine Diego Simeone reached the final twice with Atlético de Madrid , but lost both, while another Argentine, Mauricio Pochettino, also reached the last game with Tottenham , but also failed.

For this reason, we must go back to the time when this competition was called the " European Cup " to meet the Latin American coaches who were able to lift it, a feat achieved by only two coaches, both Argentines.

Luis Carniglia

In 1955 Carniglia began his career as Technical Director at the same club where he played as a professional player, Nice from France, there, the Argentine would win the French league in his first season as coach, but his greatest challenge would come later. In 1957, Real Madrid had just dispensed with the Spanish José Villalonga due to disagreements in the contract, so they needed an urgent coach to continue their winning streak of two European Cups - the first to be held - so Carniglia would be the option chosen to lead the bench, according to Central Defense.

The Argentine would reach a club full of stars such as Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento and company , so success would be instantaneous, that season he consecrated Real Madrid champion of the European Cup and even of the Spanish league. The following seaso,n he would repeat the title of European champion. However, his position would end due to differences with Santiago Bernabeú, president of the club at that time. According to La Pizarra del DT, Carniglia would speak about his reputation at Real Madrid stating the following: "They accused me of having a bad character. And it is not true, what I have is character (...) I demand work and discipline, if I shut up my mouth or look the other way when something is wrong, to avoid collisions, then I would have no character. Neither good nor bad. "

Helenio Herrera

Creator of the game system "Catenaccio" which has been a symbol of Italian soccer until today. This is based on a strategy where the defensive part is the most important, in this way, the Argentine Herrera led Inter Milan to win two consecutive European Cups and the first in the club's history, according to Olé. Although Herrera made his debut as a coach in French soccer in 1945, he spent almost all of his 36-year career in Spanish and Italian clubs, he would arrive at Inter Milan in 1960 and stayed there for 8 years.

It would be in the 63/64 season when he would get his first European Cup, for him and for Inter. The following year, the coach would be champion again, the last South American to win this tournament as a coach . Herrera was known for knowing every detail of the rival, in an interview conducted by El País with Ferran Olivella, captain of FC Barcelona when Herrera was the Catalan club's coach, said that the Argentine knew “Everything the rival did. Who finished the serves, on which side the striker came out of the dribble ... During the week, he kept informing me: "this player is bad with his feet, this one finishes first, this ..." Everything was fulfilled.

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On one occasion, Herrera told the goalkeeper before the game that “the Swede will shoot the penalty from below, to the left; not very strong, you just have to throw yourself on your right side "and, although Ramallets -Barcelona goalkeeper- do not trusted at all Herreras advice, he followed the instructions," there was a penalty and the Swede threw it where the coach said. Ramallets stopped him, of course ", assured Olivella. Herrera was also a rock star, according to Panenka magazine, the Argentine once publicly declared that “They ask me why I only run big clubs, and it is that the small ones cannot pay me . They believe that I am omnipotent because I know everything and it is not true, I never knew failure ”.