Sabella: Argentina made history after difficult win over Netherlands
By Kris Voakes
Alejandro Sabella has praised his Argentina players for having made history in reaching the World Cup final with a penalty shoot-out win over Netherlands.
After a 0-0 draw, the Albiceleste won 4-2 on penalties to set up a clash with Germany at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
And Sabella was quick to thank his players for their efforts in seeing off Louis van Gaal’s stubborn outfit.
"I’m very happy for several reasons," Sabella told a press conference after the match. "I’m happy for the players, the entire group of staff, the people of Argentina, my family, for all those who in one way or another have collaborated with the team or made me work to be better.
"I do this for my family, for the Argentina FA and the people celebrating in Argentina. We’ve made history and made it to the final."
In a tight match of few chances, defences were generally on top, and Sabella was pleased with the way his players responded.
"The players are encouraged to make changes when it feels right to change it up during the game. It was exhausting for them to cover the spaces, but they never gave up on the possibility of winning, and that’s why we brought on three attackers as substitutes," he added.
The 59-year-old also reserved a word for Argentina’s opponents in the final, admitting he has huge respect for German football.
"I have great admiration for two countries from a football point of view, Brazil and Germany," he noted.
"Germany have always shown physical might, and tactical and mental force. They have had a great number of fantastic players, like Rummenigge, Overath, Beckenbauer and others.
"They have had other national players naturalised recently, like Gundogan etc, but still this is a country that knows what teamwork and organisation is and they still have all the attributes they used to have."