Lionel Scaloni was left saddened by a sudden realisation late Argentina great Diego Maradona was unable to enjoy their World Cup success in Qatar.
Scaloni’s side beat France 4-2 on penalties following a remarkable 3-3 draw after extra time at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
It was Argentina’s first World Cup triumph since Maradona inspired them to glory in 1986, earning Lionel Messi his maiden success in the competition.
Maradona, who played for his national team between 1977 and 1994, died in November 2020 at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
His death was followed by three days of national mourning, putting into context just how significant a figure he was in Argentina.
And for Scaloni on Sunday, being reminded of Maradona’s passing was difficult.
Asked what he would say to Maradona if he had been present, Scaloni told reporters: “Well, you make me realise that he’s not here, otherwise you’d think he was amongst us.
“Well fortunately we managed to lift this trophy, something we’ve been dreaming of for so long, we’re such a football passionate country.
“I hope he enjoyed it from above. I’m sure if he was here he’d have enjoyed it so much, he’d have been the first one on the pitch.
“Now you ask me this you make me realise he’s not here. I wish he was here to enjoy this moment.”