There is a lot to discuss and learn about the team that won the World Cup for the first time in 1978, Argentina, which has recently gained attention due to its amazing victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina, under Daniel Passarella’s guidance, defeated the Netherlands in Buenos Aires to claim the fifth FIFA World Cup. Did you know, though, that Abdul Waheed Khan, the Pakistani hockey manager who was responsible for the team’s record-breaking victory in the same year, served as an inspiration to Argentina’s Cesar Menotti when he managed Argentina’s football team?

The tale that propelled Argentina to win in 1978 was uncovered via “The Paperclip” Twitter thread. Argentina hosted the hockey World Cup in March of that year, followed by the FIFA World Cup of football in June. Under the direction of former gold medalist Waheed Khan, the Pakistani hockey team arrived in Buenos Aires and put on an outstanding display. “During their victorious campaign, the green shirts created many sublime records. Their total of 35 goals was a new highest for a single edition of the World Cup, while only conceding 4 goals along the way,” according to one of the tweets.


Many people’s attention was drawn to Pakistan by their outstanding performance. Menotti, the disobedient Argentine football team coach, was one of them. He attended the hockey game two months prior to the football spectacle. Menotti not only watched the games, but he also went to their practises and training sessions to take notes because he appeared so fascinated by their game.

Waheed, born in the Indian hamlet of Raipur in the Bhopal district, moved to Pakistan in 1949. He had a detailed discussion with Menotti which “mainly centred around Pakistan’s attacking strategy”.

The thread further read, “They discussed the strategy of double attack i.e. if a move from the right side fails then make all the effort to immediately initiate a move from the left side on the assumption that most of the opponents’ defense had become concentrated on one side.”

Later, on June 25, 1978, Argentina went on to win the FIFA World Cup for the first time defeating Holland in the finals. Menotti even sent Waheed a telegram acknowledging how Pakistan’s hockey team’s “ploy came in very handy to him and the winning squad.”

Thus, it can be seen how one team’s outstanding performance might even motivate other games to adopt the strategies and revel in the spirit and unity of sports like never before. Definitely a tale to keep in mind!