Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Maradona ready to walk away from Argentina job

Argentina boss Diego Maradona has been compelling viewing during the World Cup in South Africa

Diego Maradona’s controversial reign as manager of Argentina appears to be all but over.

Despite a 4-0 trouncing at the hands of Germany bringing an end to Argentina’s World Cup hopes at the quarter-final stage on Saturday, the squad received a rapturous welcome when they returned to Buenos Aires yesterday, with fans calling for Maradona to stay on as manager.

Last night, however, reports in the country's capital suggested that the man who led them to World Cup glory on the pitch in 1986, had already decided to go.

He was quoted as saying: “It is done, my cycle has ended. I have given everything, now I will spend time with my family — but I am not depressed.”

Maradona’s managerial capabilities have been questioned ever since he first took charge of the Argentina national team in November, 2008.

Under him they suffered a record defeat, losing 6-1 to Bolivia in a World Cup qualifying fixture as their campaign threatened to end in failure.

After winning their last two games to secure a place in South Africa, the Argentines were installed as one of the favourites to win the tournament, particularly after a 4-1 win over South Korea, but that all came to an abrupt end against a strong Germany.

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