Apologies to Diego Maradona

June 29, 2010 at 4:03 am | Posted in World Cup 2010, World Cup Memories | 10 Comments

Among the many apologies I owe to people for what I say on my blog I certainly owe a big one to Diego Maradona (although I am sure he could care less about what I say like my other readers!).   When he was appointed coach of Argentina,   I could scarcely believe my eyes and ears.  Frankly, I thought the whole thing was a joke which could only play out in a place like Argentina, which has taken so many political and economic wrong turns in the last hundred years or so it makes one’s head spin.

Diego had been a disaster while he was still playing in his later career, and became more of a disaster when he stopped. Born to play football, Maradona could not cope with life when his brilliant playing career was over.  Drug abuse overtook him completely. His excesses brought him to the brink of death, and he hit rock bottom in his life.  People feverishly wrote obituaries and planned for his inevitable demise as a death watch was held outside of a hospital in Buenos Aires.

Amazingly he survived and began to rebuild himself, as, among other things, a talk-show host.   He had a few unsuccessful stabs at coaching prior to taking on the Argentina job.  It was a major risk to appoint him coach.  So far, and to my amazement, the risk has paid off.

Not only is Argentina winning in this world Cup, but is doing so with style, pride  and panache.  Argentina are playing in the spirit of the Great Diego himself.

One of the suspenseful parts of watching Argentina is the fact that Diego still might collapse under pressure, to the point where the wheels could still come off of the whole project.  This may happen against Germany in the Quarter final.  Germany is playing magnificently.  Argentina have yet to play an offensive powerhouse like Germany, and I suspect they are vulnerable at the back. Will Maradona collapse at the first sign of adversity?  Will he keep his cool if Germany are up 1-0 with 20 minutes to go?  Will he make the right player choices and substitutions?   I can hardly wait to see!

I must say it is great to see that Maradona has returned and reinvented himself.  He is Maradona at full throttle, and watching him strut up and down the sidelines has been one of the joys of this World Cup.   It is great to see that he has found something to get passionate about, which has been missing since he stopped playing.   One of the things that I love to watch about Argentina in this World Cup is that Diego has them playing attractive attacking football.  No one plays with pride and panache like the Argentinians.

Welcome back Diego, and best of luck.  I apologise.

I dream of an Argentina-Brazil final in which Maradona defeats Dunga!

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10 Comments »

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  1. Good post. Argentina certainly has been impressive.

  2. Hey, Thanks to the Referees for handing the game to Argentina with the 2nd most outrageous call of the day in this trash world cup. No mention of that huh? What would Maradona’s reaction have been when he played?

    Hey, real cool, Maradona too is using the youth, right.

    And how classy is that German team, don’t we love how they, West Germany threw a game vs. East Germany to get easier playoff games. I see Holland a real class act, did not cower and beat Cameroon, do we see White caps fan mention this??

    Oh, and how classy that German team was to collude to a result with Austria to see Algeria who defeated West Germany eliminated. Oh, how great these teams traditions are, and Schumacher attacking the French attacker and with impunity, what a World Cup the Germans ruined in 1982, but do we see White Caps fan mention this? No, it’s how great a world cup it was with Rossi, a previously banned player for match fixing.

    Oh and how great are the Italian teams, Juventus Relegated, AC Milan Relegated, both for match fixing, for cheating, they have no laws in the international arena and AC Milan bribed to defeat Leeds United in the ’70s, Juventus tried, thank God, Ajax beat them in the final after Juventus bribed and beat Clough’s derby county, Inter Milan tried to bribe in the ’60s, that is the joke of Italian football, win by harrassing physically and verbally the best player of the other team, Have Mussolini’s handpicked referees in the ’34 world cup, later sanctioned by their countries own FAs.

    Great Respect for Maradona, The Referees certainly handed Argentina the game!

    This love of anti-sportsmanship and cheating is right up White caps fans alley.

    • Oh man, really? Jerry, there’s no reason to do this.

    • It is not Diego’s fault that FIFA and its officials are incompetent. Had FIFA installed a video replay system two goals would have been disallowed on sunday. Mexico were never going to win that game. Mexico play well at home, but hate to play away from home. When you look at the fact Blanco was in the squad (after officially retiring in his “last game” against Canada a long time ago), you can see Mexico was not going to go far.

  3. As I wrote on my blog: “if you think Maradona is actually making these decisions, you’re nuts. He has competent assistants for a reason.”

    There’s a shot in the Mexico game where his two assistants are explaining something to him, as if they’re the ones that are actually watching the game and figuring out tactics.

    • There is nothing extraordinary about talking to your assistants on the sidelines. Diego is his own man and will make his own decisions. But will they be the right ones once Argentina come under pressure from Germany? I can hardly wait to see if Diego keeps his cool if Argentina go down 1-0.

      • The shot I saw wasn’t a conversation, it was two assistants both pointing out something to Maradona, who had been wandering around the technical area like an excited golden retriever.

  4. Hey Whitecaps fan, I must say that you get some acerbic comments on your blog! Geez!

  5. The Netherlands will win the World Cup 2010! It is the most under-rated team!


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