- Lionel Messi has paid tribute to the late former Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella
- Sabella led the South Americans to the Brazil 2014 World Cup final versus Germany
- The Argentine died of heart problems last year after contracting a virus in hospital
Argentina captain Lionel Messi has paid tribute to former manager Alejandro Sabella, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of his death.
Sabella was the South Americans' manager when they reached the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which they lost to Germany after Mario Gotze scored in the 116th minute.
The former Sheffield United player died on December 8, 2021, after a long battle with cancer and heart problems according to Reuters.
His death came at a difficult time for Argentina football, less than two weeks after the death of Diego Maradona, who coached the country at the 2010 World Cup and won the 1986 World Cup.
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Messi's tribute to Sabella
Messi played three years under Sabella in the Argentina national team, with both close to World Cup glory in 2014.
He uploaded photos of himself and Sabella on his Instagram story in remembrance of one of his most loved managers, hoping to give him a proper tribute against the Netherlands later tonight.
Messi's statement on late Sabella
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner issued a heartwarming tribute when Sabella passed on a year ago, as quoted by Mirror.
''It was a pleasure to share so much with you. Alejandro was a great person, as well as being an impressive professional who made an impression on me in my career, and I learned a lot from him. We lived together some of my best football memories during the World Cup qualifying stage and also at the World Cup. My condolences to all his family and friends.''
Messi pays tribute to Maradona
Sabella and Diego Maradona died within weeks of each other, and Sports Brief earlier reported Messi paid tribute to Maradona after breaking his World Cup record.
Messi surpassed the Argentine legend's World Cup goals tally of eight and moved one behind Gabriel Batistuta for the most by a player from the South American country.
The 35-year-old will hope to win the coveted Mundial this year and take his place alongside Maradona, who won the 1986 World Cup.