Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now




Preparing for the World Cup: Will Maradona’s Ego Cost Argentina?

Posted on February 22, 2010 by Thomas Rooney
Is Diego Maradona capable of leading Argentina to success at the 2010 World Cup?

Is Diego Maradona capable of leading Argentina to success at the 2010 World Cup?

Usually World Cup previews focus on the players who are likely to be involved but Argentina, as with most things involving Diego Maradona, are a special case. The sputtering qualification campaign which saw the Albicelestes secure their place in the tournament with a late goal against Uruguay was well documented. Equally well reported was Maradona’s foul-mouthed rant which followed that win. His outburst earned him two month ban from his official duties, meaning he missed the 2010 Football (Soccer) World Cup Draw.

However, it’s highly unlikely that Maradona’s absence is the reason behind a lacklustre run of friendly games for Argentina. A defeat to Spain in November suggests the side will struggle to cope when it comes up against the leading contenders at the World Cup. More worrying though were the unconvincing wins over Costa Rica and Jamaica. The former was described by Argentine newspaper La Nacion as “a victory which didn’t provide the necessary answers”.

Despite this, Maradona said that he has decided on 60 per cent of his squad already. And this could be part of the problem. Although players such as Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano would no doubt walk into any other team in the world some of the manager’s other favourites are more puzzling. Jonas Guiterrez is a fine example of this. He currently plays in the English Championship and although his pace and ability to go past players are not in question, he struggles with crossing and shooting and it’s hard to envisage him ever making a massive impact on the world stage.

On the other hand Gonzalo Higuain, who has been lighting up La Liga this season, could miss out on a place seemingly because he doesn’t get on with some of Maradona’s favourites. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

There’s no doubt Argentina can draw on players good enough to win the World Cup, but you can’t help but feel they’d stand a much better chance with World Cup betting odds if they had a different manager.

Leave a Reply


  • Current Poll

    Which 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee is Less Deserving of Enshrinement?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top