Argentina's World Cup-winning coach Menotti dies aged 85

World Cup winning coach Cesar Luis Menotti, who led Argentina to the title in 1978, has died at the age of 85, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Sunday.

Menotti, who played for Rosario Central, Boca Juniors and Santos, began his coaching career at Newell's Old Boys and won the Argentine championship with Huracan in 1973, before taking over as head coach of the Argentine national team in 1974.

"The Argentine Football Association regrets to announce with great sadness the death of Cesar Luis Menotti, current director of the national teams and former World Cup winning coach of Argentina. Farewell, Flaco querido," the governing body said in a statement.

Menotti, who left the national side after the 1982 World Cup, went on to coach Barcelona, where he guided the side to the Copa Del Rey success in 1983.

"One of the great references of our football left us. Condolences to his family and friends, may he rest in peace," Argentina's 2022 World Cup winning captain Lionel Messi said on social media.

He also had spells with Atletico Madrid, Argentine sides Boca Juniors, Independiente, River Plate, Penarol, Rosario Central, Sampdoria and two Mexican sides Puebla and Tecos.

"Deep sorrow for the departure of a leader of a group that has given one of the greatest joys to the country," Argentine President Javier Milei said on social media platform X.

"You gave us a lot in your time with the Argentine national team and football. Undoubtedly, your passing into immortality will be with the best of memories for all of us who love football," said AFA president Claudio Tapia.