Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Diego Maradona’s appointment as Argentina manager is a real eyebrow raiser. Although hailed as a deity in his homeland, even there the appointment hasn’t been particularly well received. A poll in newspaper La Nacion showed less than 10% of voters thought the decision to give Maradona the job was a “good” one.

Battles with drug and alcohol addiction, obesity – for which he underwent gastric surgery – and a heart attack have led many to question whether the former great will be able to handle the pressure of such a high profile job.

Even Maradona himself could barely believe the news. "As I was going to the meeting I thought it was some kind of hidden camera [show]," guffawed the now clean living 48 year-old.



Coupled with his array of personal problems, Maradona’s previous forays into management have been less than successful. At the three clubs he has briefly taken charge of he has won only 3 of 23 games. 


However, El Diego will not be going it alone. Former team-mate, Pedro Troglio, is set to be named as his assistant, while Carlos Bilardo is expected to become the national side's technical director. 


With an exceptionally talented attacking line-up comprising Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Juan Roman Riquelme and Carlos Tevez, the reasoning is that Maradona will act as an inspirational figurehead, with tactical know-how coming from elsewhere.

Ultimately, though, the choice of Maradona is a bad one. With Sergio Batista available, fresh from leading Argentina to Olympic gold, the decision to put in place someone with no coaching pedigree and a history of physical and mental illness, solely on the basis of him having once been the greatest player in the world, is illogical.

Who knows, perhaps Maradona will be able to get the most out of Argentina’s precociously talented squad. Having seen him whip the Argentine crowds into vocal rapture with his bare chested shirt swinging antics, it is possible he will be able to transfer a similar approach to the dressing room.



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