Well it didn’t take long for Diego Maradona to give his public address regarding why he wouldn’t be renewed as Argentina’s national team coach and the outspoken Argentine former footballer blames certain team officials for undermining his coaching regime.
Let’s just say that it is a safe bet that national team director Carlos Bilardo and association president Julio Grondona will not be on Maradona‘s Christmas card list this upcoming December. The former coach blasted the two men (Bilardo was his coach in the WC 1986) and accused the pair of manipulating and sabotaging his opportunity of returning to the team with his staff still in place. Mardona made this statement:
They called me to put out a fire, and we put it out. Grondona lied to me. Bilardo betrayed me. While we were still in mourning, Bilardo worked in the shadows to throw me out. My technical team and I were prepared to keep going. Grondona, in the changing room in South Africa, said in front of witnesses that he was very happy with my work and wanted me to continue. But back in Argentina things started to change.
And although Maradona is obviously passionate about the game of football and representing his country I think the fire metaphor is a bit much. Did Maradona really rush to the aid of his nation and put out a fire or was the legend granted a great opportunity that he never would have been offered with his coaching resume if he had never been a legendary footballer? If anything Maradona might have started a few fires with his asinine comments and indecisive roster choices leading up to the Cup and any team that features Messi in the lineup certainly isn‘t in a firestorm type of situation.
But as I’ve said several times before although Maradona is a mediocre coach, he certainly is entertaining to watch on the sideline and in the post game press conference. Who else will tell Pele to go back to a museum or for FIFA to suck it? The man truly will be missed. Maradona gave these farewell words at the end of his speech at a Buenos Aires restaurant yesterday:
I’ve given everything, everything. I am convinced that Argentine football needs to be in a better position. I have tried to transmit the pride that I feel, being Argentine.
And no one would ever claim that Maradona wasn’t proud of his nation and his football accomplishments as a player, but it appears that the two parties just couldn’t agree on the proper future of Argentina’s national team. But it is hard to side with Maradona simply because of his own hardheaded nature. He was never going to compromise his own managerial style to the board members and was often considered a very difficult person to deal with.
Association President Julio Grondona made this comment regarding Maradona’s allegations:
I continue being sorry that he has gone because it’s very sad. But I did not lie to Maradona. I told Maradona that I was content with him, that he had to continue. What he misinterpreted was that the conditions weren’t the same.
photo credit: Juanedc