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Maradona set to coach Argentina

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In one of the most intriguing developments to hit the soccer world in years, Argentine legend Diego Maradona is set to become head coach of Argentina’s national team.

Yes, wow.

Maradona would take over for Alfio Basile, who stepped down after Argentina’s World Cup qualifying loss to Chile on Oct. 16. And if you are wondering, Maradona doesn’t have much coaching experience to speak of and certainly nothing close to national team coaching experience.

What’s my take? I think he’s a brilliant mind who is also very capable of having a meltdown. He will either flourish and become a great manager or will go down in flames. There won’t be any in-between with Diego Maradona. Argentina better hope it’s the former.

What do you think of this crazy turn of events? Think Maradona can spin some magic and bring the best out of Argentina’s supremely talented team? Think Maradona is doomed to fail and will be out of the job before next summer?

Share your thoughts on the news in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. I didn’t start this… Kpugs don’t hate me for that, I was the first one to say this is only football. But people kept on talking about my nation like that guy greg that lives there. I love both countries and my daughter was born here in ny. It just bothers me that a lot of people in here really hate diego and judge him. That’s all no more politics… Promise

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  2. Something tells me he will be a terrible coach, as great as he was as a player. Not sure why, just a hunch.

    Roberto, there is nothing wrong with being pro-anyone. Don’t be that guy that ruins yet another quality discussion site by bringing in politics. I hate that guy. He ruins every discussion by provoking others with political accusations that have absolutely no right in being there. Let’s keep it with the footy.

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  3. jeff ..moron… Maradona only saw eddie Johnson against Argentina where he actually played well. Do you think he follows the team around and is even interested? You are a hater and pro bush it seems

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  4. To the guy how said have a little faith in AFA:

    To say that you have to have faith in any Argentine institution is a total joke. This is the same country where the clueless president decides to nationalize the local equivilent of 401ks on the spur of the moment over a weekend not even with a cabinet meeting. There is never enough coins here to where shopkeepers yell at the customers for not having change while the government claims the people are hording coins. Seriously, you can’t trust the decision-making capability of anybody here.

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  5. Wow. I’m not sure what to think. Is it worth it to take this risk with a team talented enough to win in 2010? Sure, they’re not playing great right now – but they’re playing well enough to qualify.

    Big question is whether or not they stick with Riquelme. He’s one of my favorite players, but he’s old and already slow and is an incresing defensive liability, do you turn the page preparing for 2010 with him or without him?

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  6. Whatever Maradona wants, he gets. People in Argentina bow down to him. If he lobbied to be President it would be his. I don’t like this move by AFA. Diego is nothing more than a side show. He tried his hand at managing before and it was not productive. Argentina has been pretty lackluster thus far in WCQ and they are in need of points. Can Diego reshift the focus and institute a proper game plan? We will see, I guess.

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  7. Maybe we can trade Eddie Johnson for Messi.

    Wasn’t Maradona the one who said that he was going to be world class striker? If that is any indication of his true ability to judge talent (and not just him trying to f*&k with the U.S.), Argentina is in trouble!

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  8. its only football people.. Let’s not be judgemental. Its not like they’re voting for a prez. Remember history has shown us that people will vote extremely…. And for 2 terms!! And countries brought down to flames!!

    So when Argentina appoints a national hero as their football coach… Why all that fuzz? Maradona is a legend and a real patriot!!

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  9. I’m joining the minority on the positive side here. If the guy was incompetent you have to have at least a little faith in the Argentine federation to not hire him. I really think national team jobs are a whole different situation than with a club. With a team like Argentina, he isn’t expected to go do an overhaul and reform this team; all Maradona has to do to find success is set up 11 superstars and get them to have faith and play with each other. I think the Klinnsman is a perfect parallel here

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  10. For me the Klinsmann analogy doesnt work. If you ask me he’s not a top manager, at least not yet, and sometimes WAYYY overrated. he finished 3rd at the world cup, on home soil, when they didnt even have to qualiy for it. A little different than leading a team through the qualifying stages which is what Diego will have to do. I think both’s endresult will be the same. Both unemployed come summer 09

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  11. Hes done terribly as a headcoach.

    Christ, makes as much sense as hiring Shearer to manage Newcastle. Just cuz he was a brilliant player does not mean he will make a great coach. Especially cuz hes been in and out of rehab and therapy.

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  12. I agree with Ives, this will either go down as a brilliant move or a utter disaster. Everyone knows about Maradona’s checkered past and his lack of coaching experience, so to appoint him the manager of the Argentine national team is just mind-boggling. Now to be fair, this national team is stacked in the truest sense of the word, so that will help in this endeavor. Also the fact that the guy is arguably the greatest footballer EVER and I’m assuming a legend in Argentina will help as well in terms of having the respect of his players. I think he’ll guide them to a WCQ and probably a semi-finals exit in South Africa. Regardless of his lack of credentials, in the end, this squad is supremely talented, and could go far with Mickey Mouse as manager.

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  13. Even most of the reporters here in Buenos Aires are like “What?” Some argued that the players are so great that they don’t need a really great coach only someone who will inpsire them. I don’t buy that arguement. I don’t think he’ll be that bad, but that he will casually resign before the world cup when the really important strategic decisions are needed.

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  14. Klinsmann did pretty well with no eperience. Maybe he’ll end up on that side rather than the Sanchez side. But my inital reaction was “Whoa”.

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  15. maradona has a brilliant soccer mind and I’m dying to see what players he will call up. I read in the paper he said “I wish I had a batistuta in my team” “that he should be born again”

    seriously I think this is a very experimental move one that can be glorious for the team or can sink it… Nothing in between.

    But I do trust him and see that he is the best motivator for Messi,Aguero &co.

    Siiiiiiii Diego

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  16. Mig of course you can find a starting 11 anywhere. It all depends on how good those starting eleven actually are.

    I can’t wait to see this Argentina team in its upcoming qualifiers.

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  17. Brilliant idea, they have great line up, great style but nothing worked for them over past few world cups…so why not try something different. They have stars on the field but coaching staff comparing to other tops teams had no spark. So the success of Maradona’s appointment is really comes down to how serious he is about the job and if he will have same desire and passion for coaching and winning as he had as a player. So if he is committed 110%(which is a big question) then it could be great. I believe Klinsman didnt have much experience before taking over Germany and was heavily criticized before he even had a chance to prove him self, but look what he’s done pretty much gave that national team a new life.

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  18. To the tune of Unforgettable…

    “Inexplicable….that’s what you aaarrrreeee.”

    Somebody once said that you could find a starting 11 on any corner of Buenos Aires. You’d think that the same would hold true for finding an experienced manager.

    As great as Maradona was, I hope it goes well…but wow…what happens if Argentina doesn’t qualify for SA2010? Diego would have to move….somewhere far, far away.

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  19. He should stick to cocaine and running around with Hugo chavez. I have tremendous respect for the Argentine players. Their skill and toughness is awesome. But Argentinas have a blind spot towards this guy. He is a disgrace.

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  20. Jamie Z, your first comment was hilarious! Your second I have no clue what you are referring to.

    Maradona? Coach? Trainer? Can he? How will he ever handle the stress and the get the boundless energy needed to work for long hours? mayyyyyybeeeeeee . . . . .

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  21. Bad decision. Another Hugo Sanchez on the works. I admire Pele for saying he never wanted to coach to not risk his legacy as a player. Maradona can go from being god in Argentina like Hugo was in Mexico to Nothing, like Ives said “go down in Flames”. But then again he could be a Franz Beckenbauer, only time will tell. For now I think it’s a bad decision, Platini is another great example of protecting his legacy as player who didn’t want to coach.

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  22. Un-****ing-believeable.

    I think Ives is right Diego it was always something brilliant(goal of the century) or something ridiculous(hand of god)

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  23. I hope this works out, but I agree with those who think this will be a disaster. This guy was jitterbugging in the crowd during the World Cup; does anyone think he’ll be able to mellow out and direct a team from the sidelines? And if it doesn’t work out, his rehab is going to be very, very tenuous.

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  24. Where do you get that he’s got a “brilliant mind”? I’ve heard a lot of things about Maradona, but nothing remotely approaching that.

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  25. Argentina’s national religion is Maradona-worship. That’s the only reason why he was chosen. Simeone would have been a much, much better choice; he was, to borrow a cliche, a “pro’s pro.” But Maradona has been lobbying for years to be the national coach.

    Hiring Maradona as a coach makes hiring Ruud Gullit look like hiring Alex Ferguson.

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  26. This has to be a joke. Is Argentina in that much trouble? I get it if he is an assistant or has a special role on the team but head coach?!

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  27. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA there goes Argentinas chances of winning the World Cup. Maradonas a coked out goof who cant stop making stupid comments.

    partHugo Chavez part Hugo Sanchez. I expect him to have the same amount of success at Sanchez

    The Argentina federation must be off their rockers!!!!

    So maradona has his holloween costume ….head coach!!!

    NOW THATS SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. if heard him commentate Argentinian league matches a few times and he knows what he is talking about. he isn’t one of those superstar players that can’t articulate or analyze the game.

    Klinsmann got his start at coaching with Germany and that worked out pretty well. Granted, Klinsmann wasn’t a recovering cocaine addict.

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  29. Not that they’re on the schedule, but is Diego even allowed in the US nowadays? Wasn’t he refused a visa in the past, thanks to his drug history (and palling around with Fidel wouldn’t expedite the paperwork either)? Say goodbye to any US-Argentina friendlies on our soil, in that case.

    At least for however many weeks his tenure lasts.

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  30. Hmm, what if the US hired a player who was overwhemingly the fans’ all-time favorite?

    Ladies and gentlemen, the next coach of the US national team is Kenny Cooper.

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  31. They must have went to the John McCain School for Impulse Decisions and Bad Hires because this pick is Palin-esque. Was Diego Simeone in the mix? Former player and an ACTUAL manager. Won the league with River last term and Estudiantes I believe 2 years ago. The one thing you can say is that Argentina isnt waiting for the World Cup to shoot themselves in the foot this time around

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  32. Man, I really do wish him the best, and I hope he repays the faith that Argentina is putting in him. Until he proves otherwise, though, I’m not too optimistic about his chances. Basile’s tenure already proved that it takes a lot more than a collection of really good players to succeed as a national team coach.

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  33. BREAKING NEWS: In an effort to maintain their intense rivalry with the Argentines, England are set to sack Fabio Capello and appoint former England star Paul Gascoigne manager.

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  34. Argentina just got punk’d.

    I read it 1st on the Guardian and I was still hoping it was like British April Fools or something.

    We need to set up a betting pool on the day he gets fired, asap.

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