Although the Uruguayan public reviled Passarella as a deserter, some of the
senior players made little secret of their preference for the Argentine.
Seldom one to pull a punch, playmaker Alvaro Recoba put the feeling into
"I have good memories of Daniel," he said. "He gave us a big hand
at an important stage of the qualifiers.
"But Victor was there all the way
to the end, so I expect he'll get all the credit."
Worse was to follow. Tales began to leak out of indiscipline in the
Uruguayan camp; of drinking on late night fishing trips, and involvement
with call girls.
Pua kept silent when the players wanted him to rush to
The journalist who made the accusations was thought to be
close to Pua - some even saw Pua as the source for the stories.
top scorer in qualifying, went as far as to say that he could never forgive
the coach for his silence.