COS columnist Jake Harrison reports on a potential swift return to management for Argentina legend.
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DIEGO Maradona has found another job he’d like – coach of Boca Juniors.
Almost five months after being released as Argentina coach, Maradona said he like to lead Boca Juniors, the Buenos Aires club where he became a star. The favourite to take over Boca is Banfield coach Julio Cesar Falcioni, but Maradona seems to be lobbying hard for the job.
Maradona acknowledged that he’d need to mend his relationship with Boca’s top player Juan Roman Riquelme. Riquelme played briefly for Maradona on the national team, but then declined to continue – apparently angry that Maradona had criticized his style of play.
“I’d die to lead Boca, but first I should talk with Riquelme,” Maradona said. “There are many things I have to talk about with many people.” The Boca position became available when Claudio Borghi resigned last month.
One of the greatest footballers to ever live is still looking for a return to management – and it looks as if the club he ended his career with could be his next port of call.
Diego Maradona scored 35 goals for Boca Juniors in 70 appearances, and it now seems that the former Argentina manager may want to try his hand at club management once again after Claudio Borghi resigned on 17th November. He had only been manager of the club six months and had only managed to gain seventeen out of a possible forty-two points, but it was Boca’s 1-0 defeat to River Plate recently which was the final nail in the coffin.
With Boca 15th in the Primera División, former Estudiantes midfielder Roberto Pompei was placed in interim charge. Boca are still struggling this season, though, having won once in five games. Maradona has been linked with the Boca job for some times now, and now it looks as though El Diego is ready to take up the challenge of managing one of his former clubs.
Maradona has some experience in club management already, although it is not exactly impressive. In 1994, with Torneo Argentino B (the fourth level of Argentinean football) club Textil Mandiyú, Maradona was manager for just twelve games, recording just one victory. A year later, Maradona became manager of Racing Club, one of the biggest teams in Argentina. His stay there, though, only lasted eleven games, although he managed to steer his side to two victories before leaving the position.
His stint as Argentina manager was a little more successful, though, as he managed to guide them to the 2010 World Cup, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by a rampant Germany side, 4-0. His contract was not renewed, leading Diego to be linked with many vacant managerial posts all over the world, including Fulham, Iran and Aston Villa.
But it now looks as if Boca Juniors could be Diego’s next move, although there is the small problem of Juan Riquelme. When Maradona criticised Riquelme’s performances for his club on television, the former Villarreal midfielder hit back, saying that “as long as Maradona is coach I will not return to the national side – we are not on the same wavelength.”
He then went on to say: “It’s clear we cannot work together.” Nine months on, though, and the pair could be brought together once again to help Boca Juniors revive their season.
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