Diego Maradona has outlined his interest in resuming control of the Argentine national side – and has even offered to do so for free.
Speaking on his “Hand of God” television programme, the legendary player, who managed Argentina from two years from 2008 right up until the 2010 World Cup campaign, said it was painful to see the current state of the national team.
“I would return to leading the national team and I would do it for free, I wouldn’t ask for anything in return.
“Hopefully God will give me the strength to return to the bench.
“I’m 57, watching my country, which was beaten by a team that isn’t one of the best in the world — it really hursts to see everything that we’ve built destroyed so easily.”
Current incumbent Jorge Sampaoli is unlikely to remain Argentina manager for much longer (though his reluctance to fall on his sword means that it could cost the AFA up to €13m to sack him), after a World Cup campaign that saw the national side scrape through the group stage before a last 16 exit to France.
The manager is reported to have lost the support of his players with some even claiming that there was something of a mutiny ahead of the side’s final group stage clash with Nigeria.
Despite Maradona’s offer to work for free, the AFA would be highly unlikely to take him up on it. As talented as he was as a player, his record as a manager is a bit more questionable. His World Cup run was ended by an emphatic 4-0 defeat to Germany in the quarter-finals and, despite initially suggesting that they would keep Maradona on for the 2014 finals, the AFA later decided not to renew his contract.
His last two jobs were in the United Arab Emirates, most recently failing to guide Fujairah to promotion from the Emirati second division last season.
© Agence France-Presse (with edits from Simon O’Keeffe)