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Tag Archives: Diego Maradona

Argentina Soccer Association Fires Diego Maradona

German fans hold a banner reading ‘Bye Maradona’ (Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona) after Germany defeated Argentina 4-0 in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal match held at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 3, 2010.

July 27, 2010

July 27 (KATAKAMI / Bloomberg) — Argentina’s soccer association won’t renew Diego Maradona’s contract as coach of the national team, spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told reporters in Buenos Aires.

Sergio Batista, the coach of the Argentine youth team, has been named interim coach and will head the squad for an August 11 friendly against Ireland in Dublin, Cherquis Bialo told reporters today in Buenos Aires.

Differences between Maradona and Julio Grondona, the president of the soccer association, “were impossible to resolve,” Cherquis Bialo said. Maradona, 49, said on Argentine television this week that he wouldn’t continue in the post if the association insisted on making changes to his coaching staff.

Maradona, who won the 1986 World Cup as a player alongside Batista, took charge of the national side in late 2008. Under his leadership, Argentina lost six matches in 2009, the first time since 1919 that it had so many defeats in a single year.

Argentina was knocked out of the World Cup last month when it lost 4-0 to Germany. The quarter-final defeat was the biggest in the tournament for the two-time title winners in 36 years. Argentina finished in fifth position, its best result since losing the 1990 world cup final.

His second goal as captain against England in the 1986 tournament was chosen as the best-ever in a survey by the international football federation, known as FIFA. He dubbed his first goal of that match, which was punched in with his fist, the “Hand of God.”

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Photostream : Argentina head coach Diego Maradona

 

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A picture combo shows Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona crossing himself before the start of the 2010 World Cup group B first round football match between Argentina and South Korea on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg.

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Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona celebrates after his team beat South Korea in their 2010 World Cup group B first round football match on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg.

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Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona shouts instructions at players during the 2010 World Cup group B first round football match between Argentina and South Korea on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg.

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Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona celebrates after his team beat South Korea in their 2010 World Cup group B first round football match on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg.

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Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona eyes a ball during the 2010 World Cup group B first round football match between Argentina and South Korea on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg.

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Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona celebrates with staff member during the Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match Argentina versus South Korea on June 17, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg. Argentina won the match 4-1.

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Argentina head coach Diego Maradona, right, and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, left walk off the pitch after Argentina won the World Cup group B soccer match between Argentina and South Korea at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, June 17, 2010. Argentina won 4-1.

Maradona’s Argentina ease to opening victory

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June 12, 2010

 

 

(CNN) — Argentina’s star-studded line-up began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their Group B opener in Johannesburg.

A goal from defender Gabriel Heinze after six minutes was all that separated the two teams after an inspired display from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

He could do little to stop Heinze’s powerful header from a Juan Sebastian Veron corner, but Enyeama kept his team alive with a string of acrobatic saves to deny World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

Diego Maradona was delighted to secure his first victory as a World Cup coach, but critical of his strikers for failing to make the game safe.

“When you don’t kill things off in front of goal you can pay a heavy price. They almost got a draw — we missed loads of chances,” Maradona told AFP.

Players such as Leo Messi and Higuain knocked in around 60 goals last season between them yet today it was almost as if they couldn’t set their sights on goal
–Diego Maradona
“Players such as Leo Messi and Higuain knocked in around 60 goals last season between them yet today it was almost as if they couldn’t set their sights on goal.

“But the win means we can be calm — we are in the right track,” he added.

South Korea beat Greece in Group B opener

Enyeama’s tip over from a Messi shot led to the early corner from which the unmarked Heinze scored to spark scenes of wild celebration on the Argentina bench, led by Maradona.

Messi and Gonzalo Higuain might both have had hat-tricks as Argentina’s attacking flair was evident, but at the other end Nigeria also had opportunities to salvage a point.

Midway through the second half, Taye Taiwo found space to toe poke a shot from the edge of the area which went just wide of Sergio Romero’s left-hand post.

CNN’s World Cup twitter.buzz

As the clock ticked down, Enyeama blocked Messi as he looked certain to score but in a swift counter attack Nigeria then had their best chance of the match as Aiyegbeni Yakubu crossed from the right and Kala Uche made a hash of his volleyed attempt from 10 meters out.

At the final whistle it was a deserved victory for Argentina, but they will face a sterner test in their next match in five days time against South Korea, who top Group B after their earlier 2-0 win over Greece.

Nigeria, who have lost five and drawn once since their last World Cup finals victory in 1998, will be looking to break that winless run against the Greeks, who also have a poor record in football’s global showpiece.

Diego Maradona Steals The Limelight

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June 13, 2010

(KOMPAS.COM)  Diego Maradona chided his Argentina players for wasting too many chances in their opening win against Nigeria at the World Cup, Saturday, saying they need to score more goals in future games. Maradona said it seemed like his players “couldn’t see the goal” and were too forgiving as they squandered numerous scoring opportunities in their 1-0 victory.

“We should not forgive, that’s what I told them after the match,” a relaxed Maradona said. “In football, to forgive is to pay.”

Maradona also praised Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who made spectacular saves against Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain to keep the Africans in the game.

“Today we took a very important step but we have to improve many things to reach the seventh match,” Maradona said in reference to the tournament final. “Still, the boys did well.” Making his World Cup coaching debut, Maradona said everything would be fine if the missed opportunities meant Argentina was saving some goals for Thursday’s encounter with South Korea. “Goals aren’t missed on purpose,” Maradona said. “Winning has given us a certain calm for the next match.”

Before the game, Maradona seemed not to have a care in the world. As Ellis Park was filling up with thousands of Argentine fans, he walked around the edge of the pitch calling out to apparent acquaintances in the stands, listened to the crowd serenading their hero and allowed himself to be followed around by dozens of photographers taking pictures of him dressed in warmups.

During the game, after putting on a suit and tie before sitting on the Argentina bench, Maradona did not seem all that different from other coaches, trying to make his players move into position and giving instructions to substitutes about to enter the game.

But his reaction to the final whistle from German referee Wolfgang Stark was telling Maradona began hugging and patting the backs of his assistants, the substitutes on the bench and the players coming off the field as if Argentina had just won the final, not the first game of the group phase.

Maradona was especially outgoing with Messi, giving him a bear hug and lifting him off the ground in celebration. “I want Messi always close to the ball and he was,” Maradona said. “He did terrific things today.”