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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diego Maradona is New Coach of Argentina Football Team

Former Argentine football great Diego Maradona has been named as the new coach of Argentina national football team recently. The legendary figure of world football repeatedly expressed his desire to coach Argentina national football team in the past. Since Alfio Basile, the outgoing coach of Argentina, stepped down from the coaching job of the national side on 16 October, there was a rumor in world media that Maradona might be appointed as the new coach of the Argentine team.

The rumor has turned into truth recently when Argentina Football Association (AFA) announced the news of Maradona’s appointment as the new coach of national team. The formal announcement will come on November 4 in the official website of AFA. Maradona will get his former coach Carlos Bilardo beside him as Bilardo has been appointed as the director of national team. Interestingly, Carlos Bilardo was the coach of 1986 World Cup winning Argentine team which was led by Maradona himself. Argentina Football Association President Julio Grondona also confirmed the news of Maradona’s appointment at the helm of Argentina national football team.

Bloomberg reported:

``Diego Maradona is number one and Bilardo is the director of the national sides,'' Grondona told radio station La Red today.

The federation said on its Web site that it will formally announce the new coach on Nov. 4.

Diego Maradone is considered as one of greatest football players of all time. The football legend almost single-handedly led Argentina to win the 1986 world cup. Four years later he led Argentina to reach the final of 1990 world cup. However, his glorious career came to an unexpected end when he was tested positive in drug test during 1994 world cup tournament. Alike international football, he had a successful career in club football too. He achieved lots of success while playing for Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli. In his post-retirement life, he went through a bad phase of time cursed by drug addiction and undisciplined lifestyle. However, he got over all those things and now leads a normal life.

Lionel Messi, who is considered to be new generation Maradona of Argentine football, has recently said that he is not worried about Maradona becoming the national team coach. The current Barcelona star was earlier criticized by Maradona for being selfish. However, Messi does not think Maradona becoming coach of Argentine national team will be a problem for him.

Guardian reported:

"They were things that were said on the spur of the moment. I know that Diego appreciates me and I don't hold a grudge," Barcelona's Messi told Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

"There will be no problem. He is a great. I admire him for what he has given to Argentinian soccer. I am optimistic. The generation that won the Beijing Olympics is up and coming.

Carlos Bilardo is also happy to be able to work with Maradona once again. He said that Maradona would decide the team tactics and they would work together. He said:

Under their new working set-up, Maradona would decide tactics for each game, Bilardo said:

``Things are going good,'' Bilardo said in an interview with radio station Radio 10. ``But we have to keep talking.''

Diego Maradona’s first assignment as Argentina coach is expected to be the friendly match against France in Marseille on February 11, 2009. Argentina has a scheduled friendly match against Scotland in November, but AFA decided that the Scotland friendly would be handled by Sergio Batista, Maradona’s teammate of 1986 world cup winning team.

Italy’s 2006 world cup wining coach, Marcello Lippi, also thinks Maradona could be a charismatic coach for Argentina national team, despite his lack of coaching experience. Lippi thinks, Argentine players will listen to Maradona because of his charisma. Former president of Napoli, Corrado Ferlaino, also appreciated the move of AFA by appointing Deigo Maradona as the national team coach. However, there are many who are skeptical about his success with Argentina national team coach. Some even also indicate his indiscipline lifestyle that about to caused his death too. Maradona only has coaching experience of only 6 months at the club level. In early 90’s, he coached Mandiyú de Corrientes and Racing Club de Avellaneda for a short spell.

Well, as a player he earned so many accolades and showed so much charisma that the expectation level of the Argentine football fans will be high from Deigo Maradona. Now, let us see if the legendary figure of world football can turn the pressure into inspiration and bring back the golden days of Argentine football in his newly found role.

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