Packed crowd watched all-powerful La Dolfina surge to Argentine Open victory as Cambiaso admits to toughest outing.
Adolfo Cambiaso’s team triumphed in the Argentine Open thanks to an inspired motivational video, as La Dolfina made history by winning the Triple Crown for the third consecutive year in what is being called the “triple Triple”.
Watched by a capacity crowd of 30,000 in Buenos Aires, Cambiaso’s squad, La Dolfina, beat Ellerstina 13-12 in the final.
“It wasn’t just another game for us,” said Cambiaso – widely accepted as the greatest player in the history of the sport.
“It was to make history. It was to fulfill a long-held dream. There was a lot of pressure on us.”
The 40-year-old said the match, with team mates David Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero, was the toughest Open final he had ever played in.
But despite Ellerstina putting up a fierce fight, Cambiaso scored six goals – the most of anyone on the field.
“Pressure brings out the best in me,” he said. “It’s the only way to keep improving: putting a bit of pressure on yourself. And the team showed how strong it could be.”
He also paid tribute to the team’s coach, Milo Fernández Araujo, who spent the run-up to the match finding innovative ways of motivating the players.
“Milo gave us incredible support – he was a machine.
“During the week he showed us a video of defeat – ours in 2012, the faces of Messi, Higuain. The things that we didn’t want to happen to us.
“And that helped us a lot. He’s as much a part of this victory as we are.”
The sportsman, the youngest ever to reach the highest handicap of 10 goals, aged 16, now faces questions as to how long he can continue playing at the top. He runs a successful breeding operation, cloning ponies to produce a new string of champions, and also runs his own clothing brand.
Four years ago, with his body already showing the strain, he said he only had a few years left. But he refuses to be drawn on his plans.
He told Argentine newspaper La Nacion that he was looking forward to celebrating his victory and letting it sink in, probably with a series of beachside barbecues with footballing great Gabriel Batistuta and tennis star David Nalbandian.
“I’m going to take my time,” he said. “I’m going to rest, I’m going to think, and I’m going to see what I want to do.
“But for now, we’re going to party like never before.”