Diego Maradona will reportedly remain as coach of Argentina’s national team, a decision he is expected to announce next week after meeting with Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona. Argentina’s next friendly matches are against Ireland on August 11 in Dublin and Ukraine on October 12, venue has yet to be confirmed. They will also play 2010 World Cup champion Spain on September 7 in Buenos Aires at River Plate’s El Monumental stadium.
The state-run Argentine news agency Telam quoted Grondona as saying the meeting would be held Monday. The newspaper La Nacion said Maradona talked with Grondona on Tuesday and had agreed to a four-year deal that will keep him in charge until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
An AFA spokesman declined to confirm to The Associated Press that Maradona would continue in the job. Maradona has not talked publicly about his plans since Argentina was knocked out in the World Cup quarterfinals by Germany 2 1/2 weeks ago.
He was reported to be traveling on Tuesday to Venezuela to conduct football clinics after an invitation from Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. Argentina President Cristina Fernandez has openly supported Maradona, and a legislator has proposed building a monument to honor him.
Others have roundly criticized him, blaming his lack of tactical knowledge for Argentina’s humiliating 4-0 loss to Germany despite possessing a team replete with many of the world’s best players, including Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Several news outlets said Maradona had turned down requests from Grondona to replace some of his assistant coaches, a move that might give the national icon help in organizing practices and tactics.
Argentina is scheduled to play a friendly on Aug. 11 against Ireland in Dublin.
- Published by Jas in: News