Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Diego Maradona was offered the role of Argentina's national football team coach in November 2008. During Maradona's short stint as a coach, the national team was not very impressive with only just qualifying for the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa by the skin of their teeth. In the FIFA World Cup 2010 quarter-finals, Germany proved too strong for Argentina as they thrashed Argentina to a 4-0 defeat.
Despite the team's loss in FIFA World Cup 2010, he was greeted by his fans and even President Cristina Fernandez urged him to continue as the coach of the national team. The Argentine Football Association offered him a new four-year contract which will extend till the 2014 World Cup. But Maradona said he would only stay if his entire staff remained.
Maradona told media that he would continue to stay on as coach with a condition he would keep his faithful assistant Alejandro Mancuso and other backroom staff. This indefinite condition was not accepted by AFA president Julio Grondona, who wanted to make replacements in the coaching staffs.
With Maradona's departure, the Argentine Football Association is on the hunt for a new coach ahead of next year's Copa America regional tournament. Alejandro Sabella is most likely to succeed Maradona as he led Estudiantes to the Copa Libertadores in 2009.
Others in the race for the dream role are Racing Club's Miguel Angel Russo and Sergio Batista who is currently in charge of the Argentine youth set-up. Under Sergio Batista's guidelines the country won the Olympic glory in Beijing Games, 2008.
Even though fans are in favor of Carlos Bianchi, his chances are very low due to his poor relationship with AFA president Grondona.