How good was Daniel Passarella?

The holy trinity 68

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How good was he? I am sure there are some on here with good historical knowledge of South American football.

I had never heard of him until one of my players on Football Manager was dubbed the next Daniel Passarella.

From Wikipedia.

'He was captain of the Argentina team that won the 1978 World Cup.

Considered the greatest South American defender of all time alongside Elias Figueroa. Passarella was also a proficient goalscorer; at one point he was football's top scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches.'

Does anyone know much about how good he actually was, from their own knowledge and not a wikipedia page?
 

harms

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Yeah, he was brilliant. He pretty much encapsulated that never-say-die attitude that is often associated with Argentine defenders. The 1978 World-Cup winning Argentina was one of the most underwhelming champions and a lot can be said about the off-the-field reasons behind their eventual success, but if you saw them play, you'll never forget Passarella. The ultimate leader of men, as tough as they get and imperious in the air despite his relatively short height. And that's before you even get to his goalscoring exploits — he often made those piercing runs from the back that Lucio later got famous for that would result in goals. Mostly from thunderous strikes with his left foot — I'd say that only Koeman had a stronger shot out of all of historically great goalscoring centre backs. Add to that free-kicks, penalties & headers from set pieces that he scored for fun.

As far as historical greats go, I'd put him in roughly the second tier
Tier Beckenbauer: Beckenbauer
Tier 1: Baresi, Moore, Scirea, Figueroa, Nesta
Tier 2: Passarella, Kohler, Sammer, Koeman, Cannavaro, Rio etc.

He was a proper nutter as well.

Here's my favourite story about him. Just like the rest of footballing elite of the time he got a transfer to Italy in the 80's when Serie A had allowed foreigners again. First he came to Fiorentina, then he had moved to Inter, spending 6 seasons in Italy in total:

Some time in the late 1980s, Internazionale were losing an away match by several goals when in the last minute they were awarded a meaningless penalty. The fearsome Argentine centre-back Daniel Passarella began galloping forward to take it, but before he could get there Alessandro Altobelli, reasoning like any striker that a goal is a goal, stepped up and hit the ball into the net.

A former Inter star who played in that game tells the story that in the changing-room, Passarella threw a fit. "It's always the same!" he screamed. "At 0-0 no-one dares take a penalty, but when it doesn't matter anymore they all do."

Grabbing his genitals, he added: "You are cowards! You have no balls, no cojones."

This went on for some time. Most of the Inter players were used to Passarella and paid no attention, but after a while Altobelli could take no more. Striding up to the Argentine, he asked: "You talking about me?"

Passarella knocked him out with a single punch, stripped, and wandered off to the showers.

A few minutes later Altobelli came to. He stared about him enraged and then, spotting the fruit bowl customary in Italian changing-rooms of the era, grabbed a little knife meant for peeling oranges. In the shower stalls he found a naked Passarella calmly shampooing his hair. "Come on then!" Passarella cooed at his knife-wielding colleague. Altobelli didn't know what to do. He didn't really want to stab his team-mate to death like Norman Bates in Psycho. He would probably have been fined, or even transfer-listed. So he just stood in front of Passarella waving the knife for a while until, to his relief, other players dragged him away and he could pretend this was happening against his will. All the while Passarella continued washing his hair.
 

Red the Bear

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Yeah, he was brilliant. He pretty much encapsulated that never-say-die attitude that is often associated with Argentine defenders. The 1978 World-Cup winning Argentina was one of the most underwhelming champions and a lot can be said about the off-the-field reasons behind their eventual success, but if you saw them play, you'll never forget Passarella. The ultimate leader of men, as tough as they get and imperious in the air despite his relatively short height. And that's before you even get to his goalscoring exploits — he often made those piercing runs from the back that Lucio later got famous for that would result in goals. Mostly from thunderous strikes with his left foot — I'd say that only Koeman had a stronger shot out of all of historically great goalscoring centre backs. Add to that free-kicks, penalties & headers from set pieces that he scored for fun.

As far as historical greats go, I'd put him in roughly the second tier
Tier Beckenbauer: Beckenbauer
Tier 1: Baresi, Moore, Scirea, Figueroa, Nesta
Tier 2: Passarella, Kohler, Sammer, Koeman, Cannavaro, Rio etc.

He was a proper nutter as well.

Here's my favourite story about him. Just like the rest of footballing elite of the time he got a transfer to Italy in the 80's when Serie A had allowed foreigners again. First he came to Fiorentina, then he had moved to Inter, spending 6 seasons in Italy in total:

Some time in the late 1980s, Internazionale were losing an away match by several goals when in the last minute they were awarded a meaningless penalty. The fearsome Argentine centre-back Daniel Passarella began galloping forward to take it, but before he could get there Alessandro Altobelli, reasoning like any striker that a goal is a goal, stepped up and hit the ball into the net.

A former Inter star who played in that game tells the story that in the changing-room, Passarella threw a fit. "It's always the same!" he screamed. "At 0-0 no-one dares take a penalty, but when it doesn't matter anymore they all do."

Grabbing his genitals, he added: "You are cowards! You have no balls, no cojones."

This went on for some time. Most of the Inter players were used to Passarella and paid no attention, but after a while Altobelli could take no more. Striding up to the Argentine, he asked: "You talking about me?"

Passarella knocked him out with a single punch, stripped, and wandered off to the showers.

A few minutes later Altobelli came to. He stared about him enraged and then, spotting the fruit bowl customary in Italian changing-rooms of the era, grabbed a little knife meant for peeling oranges. In the shower stalls he found a naked Passarella calmly shampooing his hair. "Come on then!" Passarella cooed at his knife-wielding colleague. Altobelli didn't know what to do. He didn't really want to stab his team-mate to death like Norman Bates in Psycho. He would probably have been fined, or even transfer-listed. So he just stood in front of Passarella waving the knife for a while until, to his relief, other players dragged him away and he could pretend this was happening against his will. All the while Passarella continued washing his hair.
That's one hell of a story:lol:
Great post like always though I may object to that tier system a bit
 

The holy trinity 68

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Yeah, he was brilliant. He pretty much encapsulated that never-say-die attitude that is often associated with Argentine defenders. The 1978 World-Cup winning Argentina was one of the most underwhelming champions and a lot can be said about the off-the-field reasons behind their eventual success, but if you saw them play, you'll never forget Passarella. The ultimate leader of men, as tough as they get and imperious in the air despite his relatively short height. And that's before you even get to his goalscoring exploits — he often made those piercing runs from the back that Lucio later got famous for that would result in goals. Mostly from thunderous strikes with his left foot — I'd say that only Koeman had a stronger shot out of all of historically great goalscoring centre backs. Add to that free-kicks, penalties & headers from set pieces that he scored for fun.

As far as historical greats go, I'd put him in roughly the second tier
Tier Beckenbauer: Beckenbauer
Tier 1: Baresi, Moore, Scirea, Figueroa, Nesta
Tier 2: Passarella, Kohler, Sammer, Koeman, Cannavaro, Rio etc.

He was a proper nutter as well.

Here's my favourite story about him. Just like the rest of footballing elite of the time he got a transfer to Italy in the 80's when Serie A had allowed foreigners again. First he came to Fiorentina, then he had moved to Inter, spending 6 seasons in Italy in total:

Some time in the late 1980s, Internazionale were losing an away match by several goals when in the last minute they were awarded a meaningless penalty. The fearsome Argentine centre-back Daniel Passarella began galloping forward to take it, but before he could get there Alessandro Altobelli, reasoning like any striker that a goal is a goal, stepped up and hit the ball into the net.

A former Inter star who played in that game tells the story that in the changing-room, Passarella threw a fit. "It's always the same!" he screamed. "At 0-0 no-one dares take a penalty, but when it doesn't matter anymore they all do."

Grabbing his genitals, he added: "You are cowards! You have no balls, no cojones."

This went on for some time. Most of the Inter players were used to Passarella and paid no attention, but after a while Altobelli could take no more. Striding up to the Argentine, he asked: "You talking about me?"

Passarella knocked him out with a single punch, stripped, and wandered off to the showers.

A few minutes later Altobelli came to. He stared about him enraged and then, spotting the fruit bowl customary in Italian changing-rooms of the era, grabbed a little knife meant for peeling oranges. In the shower stalls he found a naked Passarella calmly shampooing his hair. "Come on then!" Passarella cooed at his knife-wielding colleague. Altobelli didn't know what to do. He didn't really want to stab his team-mate to death like Norman Bates in Psycho. He would probably have been fined, or even transfer-listed. So he just stood in front of Passarella waving the knife for a while until, to his relief, other players dragged him away and he could pretend this was happening against his will. All the while Passarella continued washing his hair.
Thank you very much, that is a great post. That story is :lol:
 

General_Elegancia

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He was one of the best defenders in the late 70s to beginning of the 80s.He was incredible in the air despite his height was only 173centimeters.Tough as nails,great positioning,hard-tackling player,great ball-playing skills and he was a long free-kick taker and penalty taker in a lot of matches too.He played in Argentina 2 world cup(78,82) unfortunately in 86 he had a problem with Diego Maradona(the real ace of that team) and then he left the camp. He is also the fourth person in the world to be a player, technical director and president of a club, the other cases are Babington,Bernabeu and Beckenbauer.

Outside of his extordinary football career and leadership,I would say he is a bit terrible person that have a lot of egos in himself and have a lot of affairs and problems with other people,@harms story is one of the example of stories.
Bad side of Passarella-had an affair with his teammate wife before WC1986
-had a silly rules in World Cup 98
-a lot of problems with his teammates because of his egos
-shitty president and one of the most hateful(if not most) presidents of all time in the hsitory of River Plate.


According to Diego's biography
he had a feud with Passarella. Passarella and Valdano accused Maradona of using a lot of cocaines, Maradona then told Valdano that Passarella was having an affair with the wife of another Argentinian player (Alberto Tarrantini). At that point,a lot of senior players who sided with Passarella changed to Diego's side.After that Passarella had a stomach injury and he couldn't play all of WC 1986.

another story
The Kaiser accuses 10 of consuming cocaine in Italy and Diego, after yelling at him "you are a button and a liar" , retrucates him with an alleged love affair with the partner of one of the National Team players. The magazine "El Gráfico" organizes a photo together, that of the hats, to show a fictitious coexistence. Finally, Pasarella cannot play the World Cup due to a health problem, and there is a central conversation in the script: " Between us things are not good, and we both know it. But I would never have wished you such a thing."

story between 2 alpha
In the non-fiction, Maradona assured that the historical fight occurred because "he had stolen the captaincy . " There were always doubts about Passarella's intestinal condition and in the same statement, Diego stated that the 78 champion did not want to "play the 86 World Cup because until Thursday before playing against Korea he was a starter, he suddenly fell ill"

"I have the full conviction that with Daniel we would also have been champions but Tata Brown broke it and well, we were no less without him ... what will it be," he added.

In another interview, 10 warned that " Passarella only kicked out of the World Cup in Mexico , because he had Menotti in his head and said that you couldn't play with Bilardo. However, I also had César in my head and I was champion with Carlos ".

" We had fought in the concentration of America de México. I was fifteen minutes late to a meeting together with the rebels. Those were, according to Passarella: Pasculli, Batista, Islas ... Then we ate a speech by Passarella, in the style of him, good dictator, how the captain was going to be late. I let him talk 'are you finished?' I asked him. 'Well, then let's talk about you now.

Billardo wanted to built and gave all of freedom to "Maradona".So,the first thing he wanted to do and should do was to gave all of powers to new capitan "Maradona".Billardo had rebuilt his team in new style's of playing , changed a lot of 11 players and soft powers.So,an oldhead like Fillol and Passarella who was like a leader of 82 world cup disliked it.It could even say that Fillol and Passarella were Menotti's favourite not Billardo.And then the" titan clash"had started.

 
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Revaulx

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There was talk of United signing both him and Fillol after the ‘78 World Cup, in the wake of Spurs signing Ardiles and Villa. Probably just paper talk, but it would have been fun!
 

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Do I remember correctly that he was Argentina's manager in WC 1998?
Yes, went out to that lovely goal by Bergkamp after the red card of Ortega.

Also left out Redondo and Caniggia due to their long hairs, banned gays from the team. Quite a character.
 

OmarUnited4ever

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Yeah. Decided to ignore Redondo because the latter refused to cut his long hair per Passarella's request.
Yes, now I remember, the Redondo fiasco :lol: :lol: :lol:

Yes, went out to that lovely goal by Bergkamp after the red card of Ortega.

Also left out Redondo and Caniggia due to their long hairs, banned gays from the team. Quite a character.
were there players that came out as guys back then that he banned? or was it the cutting long hair rule that he imposed was interpreted as him banning gay footballers from the team?
 

GMok

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Yes, now I remember, the Redondo fiasco :lol: :lol: :lol:



were there players that came out as guys back then that he banned? or was it the cutting long hair rule that he imposed was interpreted as him banning gay footballers from the team?
I think probably the bolded bit. I do not remember any footballer coming out as gay around that time and I remember the 98 world cup vividly. But that's how it was reported.
 

horsechoker

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Fun fact: the pass was named after Passarella when he first performed it for River Plate against Boca Juniors in 1975. Although controversial at the time, the pass has since gone on to become an important part of football
 

General_Elegancia

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His defensive playing style:Well,he could play really well both stopper and sweeper but he played best at sweeper.He could play well both in back4 and back5.In his era,they had a lot of world-class sweepers like Krol,Scirea,Figueroa(semi) and Kaiser Franz(semi) and he still shone as one of the best.His playing style,I would say compare to all of them that I have mentioned before,he was the most dirtiest and meanest player of them.He was famous for used his elbows,dirties tricks and rough tackles.He was excellent in the air,had a great postional awareness and another underrated side of him "checking offside".His tackles wasn't in a beauty form like Nesta,Moore,Figueroa and Maldini,his tackles was more rough and hard.He rarely lose in 1-on-1 situations,he was very smart to dealt with 1-1 attacker.

As I have said before he wasn't a beauty sharming prince playing style,so his highlight reel are a bit difficult to find when compare to Maldini,Moore,Figueroa,Baresi and especially Nesta(aka the king of artisty tackles and beautiful acrobatics clearances) and another reason he had played for River Plate in Argentina during late70s-80s which is almost 40-50 years ago,so I'm not exciting when he hasn't many footages and highlight reels for watching.


His offensive playing style:He was a libero but wasn't in type of Beckenbauer,Scirea and Krol mood.Beckenabuer and Scirea was famously known for controlled the tempo and pace of the game,not going forward to took some long shots and going aggresively to opponent penalty box like Passarella often did.Pasarella could control the game for sure but that wasn't his biggest strength.When he joined the attacking phase,he usually a bit dribbled from the back then pass to the midfielder,next he would go aggresively straight to the far post for making header goals or he would wait outside the box for take some long shots(2-4 per game).He would take a long fk and if he saw an oppurtunites like long balls,a long freekick (that he didn't take and corner)that had a chance for him to heading,he would go up for every occuasions of dead balls.

Compare to Kaiser Franz like I have said before,Kaiser Franz did in term of creating plays ,playmaking and controlling the tempo of the game a lot better than Pasarella but Pasarella was a better long range shooters(Franz took a lot of long shots too especially in his midfield days) and overall scorer.


Compare him to today player:It's really very hard to say.I would say,he would be an unlikely mix of Sergio Ramos,Lucio and Romagnolli or another in my mind maybe 20 centimeters shorter Van Dijk(because of his dominant in the air and play as sweeper role) with Vidic aggressiveness and Ramos scoring records.


"A great leader and a great defender; he was strong and charismatic. Despite not being tall, his heading abilities were simply amazing but above all he was a great captain" (Américo Gallego about Daniel Passarella)

Diego described him as the best header of the ball he had ever seen(and he is 173 centimeters).

 
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harms

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Fun fact: the pass was named after Passarella when he first performed it for River Plate against Boca Juniors in 1975. Although controversial at the time, the pass has since gone on to become an important part of football
:lol:
 

RooneyLegend

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Excellent player, a proper ball playing defender. Him, Ardiles and Maradona really stood out in the side in the early 80's.
 

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There was talk of United signing both him and Fillol after the ‘78 World Cup, in the wake of Spurs signing Ardiles and Villa. Probably just paper talk, but it would have been fun!
If memory serves, we did try and sign him but the move fell through. We were pretty excited by the news at the time.
 

Melbourne Red

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Fun fact: the pass was named after Passarella when he first performed it for River Plate against Boca Juniors in 1975. Although controversial at the time, the pass has since gone on to become an important part of football
:lol:
 

Chesterlestreet

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There was a bit of an Argentine wave in the late 70s/early 80s in English football. I don't how close United were to signing Passarella, but we were apparently genuinely in for him.

Maradona himself was pretty close to moving - to Sheffield United.

(True story - they ended up buying the late A. Sabella instead, 'cause Diego was too expensive , even as a teenager. Still, one of those "what could've been" stories if there ever was one).
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Tier Beckenbauer: Beckenbauer
Tier 1: Baresi, Moore, Scirea, Figueroa, Nesta
Tier 2: Passarella, Kohler, Sammer, Koeman, Cannavaro, Rio etc.
I think he is definitely above everyone else in Tier 2. Won't look out of place even in tier 1 in my eyes
 

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I think he is definitely above everyone else in Tier 2. Won't look out of place even in tier 1 in my eyes
Hi,my lovely mate
His defensive skills isn’t on the level of tier1,I agree.But overall abilities I agree with you he should be tier1 for sure.His case is a bit similar to Ramos(today).
 

harms

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I think he is definitely above everyone else in Tier 2. Won't look out of place even in tier 1 in my eyes
He’s certainly at the top of that tier, but I’d still put him slightly below the T1 guys. Kohler was better as a pure defender, Koeman was better as a playmaker/goalscorer, but as an overall package it’s hard to argue against Passarella leading the group.
 

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It's quite hard to compare him. He could do the proactive stopper stuff that Kohler and Cannavaro excelled in. And without quite hitting their heights, he could also do the covering and mopping up work that the likes of Baresi and Moore mastered. And he could influence a game all over the park in a way that only Koeman and Beckenbauer have ever really done at the top level. Most of the great ball-playing defenders were relatively feeble when it came to physical or aerial confrontation, whereas Passarella was a force of nature and a sensational footballer. I'm not sure anyone else has packaged it all together as well as he did.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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It's quite hard to compare him. He could do the proactive stopper stuff that Kohler and Cannavaro excelled in. And without quite hitting their heights, he could also do the covering and mopping up work that the likes of Baresi and Moore mastered. And he could influence a game all over the park in a way that only Koeman and Beckenbauer have ever really done at the top level. Most of the great ball-playing defenders were relatively feeble when it came to physical or aerial confrontation, whereas Passarella was a force of nature and a sensational footballer. I'm not sure anyone else has packaged it all together as well as he did.
Nicely put. I guess Figueroa and him are the only 2 contenders. Not a surprise both being South Americans
 

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I remember him playing in 1978 and had a sneaky feeling he briefly played for Birmingham so googled it. It was his defensive team mate Alberto Tarantini who was cut from the same cloth. Didn't last long due to poor on field discipline culminating in going into the crowd and punching a supporter. This was after being banned for a hatchet job on our own Greenhoff.
 

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Not enough being made of his runs, long range shooting and goalscoring contributions. He's almost impossible to compare to others because of this particularly so because he was a cannonball, which isn't really the norm when talking about the greatest defenders, sweepers etc. of all time.

If you could find a player with his exact attributes, inclusive of height for this era, he'd be a revelation with opportunities galore to affect the game from deep.

@harms don't get how you've got he and Kohler in a tier below the others in 1. How has that come about? Think there's a clear mark in the sand those two step over with the rest of the 1's that the remainder of the 2's you listed do not.
 

harms

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@harms don't get how you've got he and Kohler in a tier below the others in 1. How has that come about? Think there's a clear mark in the sand those two step over with the rest of the 1's that the remainder of the 2's you listed do not.
Fine margins and all that but there’s a very easy criteria that he doesn’t quite match to make it to tier 1. I have to watch him and wonder if that’s even possible to play like that with my jaw permanently dropped to the point of near-dislocation. He was a fantastic defender and his offensive contribution was obviously top notch, but I still wouldn’t put him directly next to Scirea, Moore & Baresi.

Kohler & Nesta are very tough to separate but Nesta got on the last train there. Realistically if you count Passarella’s offensive contribution he probably should be on par with Nesta (a superior defender)… but the jaw-dropping argument just doesn’t quite allow me to put him up there. I watch him in admiration but not in awe.

This is the issue with the tier system — the ones at the very top/very bottom of each tier are obviously closer to a higher/lower one than their peers… but it’s easier to compile tiers than to compile numerical ratings.
 

General_Elegancia

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Not enough being made of his runs, long range shooting and goalscoring contributions. He's almost impossible to compare to others because of this particularly so because he was a cannonball, which isn't really the norm when talking about the greatest defenders, sweepers etc. of all time.

If you could find a player with his exact attributes, inclusive of height for this era, he'd be a revelation with opportunities galore to affect the game from deep.

@harms don't get how you've got he and Kohler in a tier below the others in 1. How has that come about? Think there's a clear mark in the sand those two step over with the rest of the 1's that the remainder of the 2's you listed do not.
Everyone always has a different view on discussion and I have my view about him too.@Harms reason about Passarella can be understandable for me and it’s ok.Passarella sometimes left a lot of blackholes during the game because of his offensive contributions and his defensive skills like @harms has said before that he was inferior to Figueroa,Moore,Nesta and Scirea or even Van Dijk2019 in my view is superior to him in defensive parts for sure.So,If Harms put him on Tier2 ,it can be understandable.

My view about him,if I classify the class of defenders(only retirement players because present players can add a lot of trophies,accolades or some personal awards)

Tier1: Beckenbauer,Figueroa,Scirea,Moore,Passarella and Krol

Tier2:Nesta,Sammer,Chumpitaz,Kohler,Koeman,Cannavaro…….

I would still rate Passarella as a tier1 of top defenders because of his overall abilities,offensive contributions,ball playing skills and leadership skills.His pure defensive skills still could be top 10-15 of all time.

Another side,I would rate Nesta as tier2 of top defenders.I’m diehard Milan fan and I would say he should be tier1 for sure.
What’s problem about him?
He was an injury prone in his AC Milan days and another one he had only twice the best defensive records in the league.that was in 1998-1999(when he missed a lot of matches) and another one in 2010-2011(he played only26 matches too).In UCL,the number aren’t outstanding either.That’s equal to Virgil Van Dijk(2times) and I didn’t say that Van Dijk is better than Nesta.

Don’t excite why he had only 2 best defensive records? the answer…..injury
I always think that Nesta peak is in Lazio not AC Milan.He gets high reputations due his defensive techniques which I think he is the best in history.Another reason his offensive contributions couldn’t compare to anyone in tier1(maybe Figueroa that was least in that department).
 
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Demyanenko_square_jaw

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It's probably an amount of footage issue, but Figueroa is disappointing on the ball to me compared to his reputation. I'd rate Passarella over him for overall contribution as a player.
 

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South American Beckbenbauer in style, had a real elegance about him.

Interesting career as a manager, very successful at River Plate, then had an odd spell as Argentina manager (unlucky to go out in QFs of France 98 but remember him refusing to call up likes of Redondo for not cutting their hair? :lol: ) then went to Uruguay which must've been interesting reaction at time and was building a good side until he quit midway through 2002 qualifiers for a reason I can't recall.

Think he managed in Serie A for short spell aswell.