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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Jul 11, 2014

Martin Demichelis: I owe it to Pellegrini

ESPN FC's Robbie Earle breaks down Argentina's best opportunities to succeed.

Martin Demichelis has said he owes his place in the World Cup final to Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

- Didonato: Argentina's stingy defence leads the way
- Baier: Six players who silenced the critics

Argentina international Demichelis said reaching the final had crowned a remarkable revival to his career that was beyond his wildest expectations.

The centre-back is set to start against Germany at the Maracana -- and he could end the season as a Premier League, Capital One Cup and World Cup winner.

He said that was "a dream" after a two-and-a-half year international exile was ended when he was recalled to the Argentina squad for the World Cup and then brought into the starting XI for the quarterfinal against Belgium.

Demichelis had not played for his country since being jeered for a mistake that cost Argentina a goal against Bolivia in November 2011.

But Pellegrini, who was his manager at both River Plate and Malaga, signed him again last summer and made him a regular for Manchester City.

Demichelis told La Tercera: "I owe a lot to Manuel. He took me to Malaga, and then to Manchester. I could not be more thankful.

"I always worked as well as possible, and the people who were close to me all these years know how I battled to have this new opportunity. Fortunately I got it, and even more so at a World Cup. There is nothing to match a moment like this.

"I never thought of being here -- that is the truth. All this is like a dream. I am afraid that I am going to wake up and realise that it is all a dream.

"You could not even imagine this. But you have dreams, hopes. I have prepared all these years for this."

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