Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chau, Diego

Decision day came, and Maradona is out as Argentina's soccer coach.

The enigmatic coach and national icon was not asked to continue to lead the Argentine side after they crashed out of the World Cup with a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Germany.

Initially the Argentina Football Association (AFA) had signaled a willingness to keep Maradona on to lead the team into 2014 Brazil, but it appears the famously strong-headed coach decided it was his way or nothing, and refused to allow any changes to his assistant coaching staff.

According to ESPN Soccernet:
"The president said that there was a significant difference between what AFA wanted to achieve and Maradona's aspirations for the future," (AFA spokesperson Ernesto) Cherquis Bialo said. "There was a wide gap, and it was impossible to narrow it."
Despite some shows of brilliance during the Cup's early games, Argentina showed significant backside weakness against the German attack, and the end result for a nation so hungry for glory was bound to leave some heads rolling in the post-Cup aftermath.

But it may have been Maradona's own stubbornness that led to his undoing. He was unresponsive to initial calls from AFA president Julio Grondona, and delayed their post-Cup meeting to go to Venezuela to meet with Hugo Chavez (and lend his two cents to the Venezuela-Colombia brush up). No doubt that didn't win him any fans.

The Soccernet article quotes team trainer Fernando Signorini as saying "I have no doubt they didn't want him. Maradona is like a stone in the shoe of power."

Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Online Sources: ESPN Soccernet, Sydney Morning Herald, Latin American Herald Tribune, Xinhua

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