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Lionel Messi warmly pays tribute to former Argentine boss Alejandro Sabella

Lionel Messi has paid a moving tribute to former Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella after he died in hospital on Tuesday.

Former Sheffield United and Leeds star Sabella made Messi his captain after taking over the national team in August 2011.

He coached Argentina for the 2014 World Cup final against Germany, where it lost 1-0 in extra time.

It was the first time since 1990 that the country exceeded the quarter-finals when it also reached the final and lost to West Germany.

Messi, who saw Cristiano Ronaldo meet twice on Tuesday when Juventus beat Barcelona at Nou Camp, wrote on social media alongside a photo hugging his former coach: “It was a pleasure to share so much with you.



Messi paid tribute to Sabella

“Alejandro was a great person and a brilliant professional who shaped my career and from whom I learned a lot.

“We shared some of my best football memories during World Cup qualifying and the World Cup.

“My condolences to his family and friends.”

In an overnight tweet, Leeds added: “Everyone at LUFC’s thoughts go with the friends and family of former midfielder Alejandro Sabella, who sadly passed away. RIP Alex. “

The 66-year-old Argentinian, who managed his home country until July 2014, was admitted to a specialist hospital almost two weeks ago after he had fluid buildup in his legs due to heart problems.

He was admitted to intensive care after his health deteriorated when he discovered a virus in the hospital.

He was supervised at the Buenos Aires Cardiovascular Institute.



Sabella during his time in charge of Argentina

Hospital chiefs at the Buenos Aires Cardiovascular Institute confirmed Tuesday that the 66-year-old had passed away at 3:30 p.m. local time – 6:30 p.m. in the UK.

The hospital said in a statement: “We regret to inform you that patient Alejandro Sabella, who was admitted to our facility on November 25th, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy as a result of a long-term diagnosis on Tuesday at 3:30 pm Disease died is coronary disease and cardiotoxicity. “

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes weak and enlarged. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body.

Symptoms include leg swelling and shortness of breath.

The player-turned manager began his career at River Plate before moving to England in 1978 to play for Sheffield United and then Leeds.

He was known as Alex in England.



Sabella played for Sheffield United



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Sheffield United turned to Sabella after deciding the original goal was too expensive for Diego Maradona.

They signed him on July 19, 1978 for £ 160,000 and he made his debut for the Blades a month later. In 76 games he scored eight league goals.

He was sold to Leeds for £ 400,000 after refusing to move to Sunderland after relegation from Sheffield United. He scored two goals from 23 games with his new team.

After returning to South America, he played for various teams, including Estudiantes and Gremio.

Sheffield United tweeted: “Sheffield United is deeply saddened by the death of former player Alejandro Sabella. Rest in peace, Alex. “

River Plate tweeted, “On this day of deep sadness, River Plate said goodbye to a son of this house. We will miss you Alejandro. “

Sabella was operated on for heart problems in 2015 and was admitted to hospital the following year for health problems.

He was hospitalized on November 25th after becoming sick at home.

He was reportedly badly affected by Diego Maradona’s death that same day.

During an official act in recognition of his career at the University of La Plata in 2018, he said, “As I was fighting whether to stay here or to the other side, I would remember telling my players that they couldn’t give you less than 100 percent.

“When I asked that of you, I had to fight to stay alive.”

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