Matias Paredes was reduced to the role of nervous onlooker but saw his Argentina side produce a performance of a lifetime to beat Belgium 4-2 in the men’s Olympic final.
Along with Matias Rey, he was forced to sit out the final due to injury with Luca Masso and Isidoro Ibarra coming into the side for the gold medal showdown.
For Paredes, he said it was a tough situation to be in but he always had faith his team could do the business on the biggest stage.
“Really nervous; it’s difficult to be outside the pitch but I always believe in this team and we fight every game and succeeded. We trained a lot and had a really hard preparation and now we have the gold medal.
“Of course, I was sad when I found out I couldn’t play the final but I had confidence in the team. I knew we had two good substitutes who were going to run and fight to do their best for the team. I am happy to be a member of this team!”
As for whether the emotions have fully sunk in, he added that it may take a while before he fully realises the impact the achievement has on him and his team.
“We need time… hours, days, weeks… to wake up. We dreamed this many times. In the last Olympics, we finished tenth but now, we are first. Unbelievable!”