By TRAVIS CLARK
For Diego Maradona, the message was clear: change or get out. The stubborn and enigmatic manager elected for the latter, ending his run as coach of Argentina.
The Argentinian FA had made Maradona a new offer for a four-year contract that would have seen him lead Argentina at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but several stipulations went along with the offer. They included a makeover of Maradona's coaching staff, particularly the removal of close friend Alejandro Mancuso. Maradona refused, and has since been replaced by youth coach Sergio Batista on an interim basis.
Batista will coach Argentina in its upcoming friendlies against Ireland on August 11, and against Spain on September 7.
Here are a few other stories for Wednesday morning:
Santos, Cruz Azul win first legs of CCL qualifying
While MLS struggles in Champions League play continues, Mexican success hasn't let up. Cruz Azul, runners up in last season's competition, took a step towards return to a Group Stage action with a 3-2 win in Panama over San Francisco. Emmanuel Villa scored a hat trick after Cruz Azul went down 2-1, giving the visitors the advantage.
Santos, another Mexican team playing on the road, nicked a late goal to win 1-0 over San Juan Jabloteh. Rodrigo Ruiz scored in the game's 83rd minute to hand Santos a lead heading back to Mexico for the second leg.
Universidad de Chile grab away draw in Libertadores
The Copa Libertadores is winding down, and Universidad de Chile took a big step towards qualifying for the final with a 1-1 draw on the road against Chivas de Guadalajara Tuesday evening Universidad took the lead early in the second off thanks to a tally from Rafael Olarra, but it was canceled out only minutes later by Chivas' Omar Arellano. Nevertheless, Universidad de Chile holds the advantage heading into the second leg that will be held on August 3.
Raul inks deal with Schalke
Spanish and Real Madrid legend Raul officially completed a move to Schalke, ending a 16-year stint in Madrid. Raul, who scored 323 goals as a member of one of Spain's most storied clubs, agreed to a two-year contract with the Bundesliga side. When the season starts in 2010, it'll mark the first time in his professional career that he'll play for another club side.
He's also the current all-time leading scorer in Spanish history, with 44 international goals, but has been retired since 2006.
What do you think of Maradona's departure? Will Santos and Cruz Azul make the group stages? Can Guadalajara come back on the road? Will Raul succeed at Schalke?
Share your thoughts below.