Sad Maradona considers quitting

July 4th, 2010

Maradona, now 49, cut a dejected figure at the post-match news conference (Photo: Getty Images)

Diego Maradona has admitted he is considering his future as Argentina coach after his side were brutally dumped out of the World Cup by Germany.

“I may leave tomorrow,” he said after their 4-0 quarter-final defeat.

“I’ll have to think carefully about it, and talk with my family and the players. There are many issues here.”

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 as a player, said that “whoever comes after me” must follow the team’s attacking style.

But that commitment to going forward was easily nullified by Germany as the Europeans defended with complete commitment before breaking forward swiftly and effectively on the counter-attack.

The former World Cup winner likened the defeat to being punched by former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

“This is the most difficult experience of my life, because to [lose] in front of so many good players, such good people, such good professionals is like getting punched by Muhammad Ali,” he said. “I don’t have any energy left.

“The first cross produced a goal, and suddenly we were looking at a different game. They took advantage of all their chances.”

Full-back Gabriel Heinze urged Maradona not to make any rash decision and said it would be “great” if the manager continued.

“Now is not the time to make these decisions,” said the 32-year-old former Manchester United defender.

“Surely it would be better to wait until the emotion has cooled. Maradona has worked very well and it would be great for him to continue.”

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez offered no excuses after a disjointed performance in Cape Town in which Messi was frequently reduced to collecting the ball from his centre-backs.

“There’s nothing we can say about their win,” said Tevez after Argentina suffered their worst World Cup defeat in 52 years.

“To lose like that is very painful. We played badly and sometimes when you make mistakes you go home.”

The Manchester City striker added: “We knew it would be complicated and that they wouldn’t let us attack.

“They did what we knew they were capable of doing. We knew they could be dangerous on set-pieces and on the counter-attack.”

Maradona was derided in Argentina before the tournament for leading the team by instinct and emotion rather than paying attention to a tactical plan, or the opposition’s strengths.

Much of that criticism was washed away with four straight wins in South Africa, but it may now rear its head after Germany easily exposed the individual rather than collective nature of his side’s play.

“I’m as disappointed as all Argentines,” he said. “To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt.”

When asked whether he was satisfied with the team’s performance against Germany, Maradona added: “Are you joking?

“This is a country where you live and breathe football. I don’t think that anybody will be happy when the team loses 4-0.”

Source: BBC Sport

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