BUENOS AIRES May 26 Coach Sergio Batista
has settled a 25-year-old debt that many fans felt had
denied Argentina from clinching a major prize following their
second World Cup title.
Carlos Bilardo's 1986 World Cup squad, training at high
altitude in Argentina's northwest for the Mexico finals, were
reported then to have made a promise to the Virgin of Copacabana
to return if they won the title -- but they never went back.
Batista and assistant Jose Luis Brown, who both played in
that title-winning team captained by Diego Maradona, headed
earlier this week to the Andean town of Tilcara to visit the
Virgin's shrine and make up for that supposed omission.
"Everyone talks about that promise but in reality it wasn't
as it's told. So many things have been said since '86 that with
'Tata' (Brown) we decided to return to Tilcara, visit the Virgin
and give thanks, for our own calm," he told reporters.
Batista, preparing for the Copa America in Argentina in
July, said the tournament was "an excellent opportunity to get a
title which is what fans are asking for but I'd change
everything to win another World Cup."
(Reporting by Luis Ampuero; writing by Rex Gowar; editing by
Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email
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