Maradona urged to stay

2010-07-06 09:29

One of Diego Maradona’s assistants wants him to stay and a top

Argentine football official said the job is his despite the team’s devastating

4-0 loss against Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Assistant coach Alejandro Mancuso said in a radio interview

yesterday: “Knowing Diego, it is difficult for me to think he wants to step down

after failing in his objective to win the cup. We can’t throw away all the good

work we’ve done.”

Mancuso added that the coaching staff also wanted Maradona to


Maradona has not made his plans clear following Argentina’s second

straight loss to Germany in a World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday but talked of

“the end of a cycle” when the squad returned home from South Africa.

Cronica newspaper yesterday quoted Maradona as saying: “I gave all

I had. Now I want to enjoy my family. Don’t worry, I’m not depressed.”

Argentine Football Association senior official Luis Segura said

Maradona’s contract has a clause that triggers an automatic extension through to

the Copa America, which Argentina hosts next year.

“The one who will have to decide to continue or not is Maradona,”

Segura said.

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez offered encouragement

while speaking yesterday in Buenos Aires: “No Argentine has ever given so much

joy on the field as Diego Armando Maradona.”

Fernandez also invited the team to the Casa Rosada, which is

vaguely equivalent to the White House in the US.

The president said: “We are proud of what they did and we have

finished crying because we’ve begun to prepare for 2014.”

Though 20?000 fans greeted the team’s arrival on Sunday, an online

poll by the newspaper Clarin showed 63.1% wanted Maradona to quit. Other polls

showed similar results.

The last major title for Argentina was the Copa America in 1993.

The team won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986.

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