Maradona offers to coach Argentina for free after World Cup debacle

Diego Maradona wants to return to the position of Argentina coach and is willing to work for free, as Jorge Sampaoli faces pressure to resign following their World Cup travails.

Speaking on his “Hand of God” television show, the 57-year-old Maradona, who coached Argentina for two years from 2008-10, said it was painful to see the current state of the national team.

“I would return to leading the national team and I would do it for free, I wouldn’t ask for anything in return,” Maradona said on his programme, which runs on Venezuelan channel Telesur.

Sampaoli is resisting intense pressure to resign following Argentina’s 4-3 defeat to France on Saturday during a World Cup campaign that was fraught with tension and disputes.

The coach is believed to have lost the support of his players with some claims attributing team selection and tactics to captain and star Lionel Messi.

Sampaoli, though, has another four years to run on his contract, meaning the Argentine Football Association (AFA) would have to pay a reported $15-million (12.9-million euros) to sack him.

“Hopefully God will give me the strength to return to the bench,” said Maradona, whose own World Cup coaching campaign in 2010 ended in an ignominious 4-0 thumping by Germany in the quarter-finals in South Africa.

“I’m 57, watching my country, which was beaten by a team that isn’t one of the best in the world — it really hurts to see everything that we’ve built destroyed so easily.”

Maradona was a genius as a player, leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 and again to the final four years later.

But his coaching career has been far less glamorous despite his stint in charge of the national team, in which he presided over a record-equalling 6-1 defeat to Bolivia.

His last two jobs were in the United Arab Emirates, most recently failing to guide Fujairah to promotion from the Emirati second division last season.

© Agence France-Presse

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertisting

The rule of law in times of crisis: Covid-19 and...

Under a state of national disaster, some rights may be suspended. But it is critical to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories