Thursday, September 10, 2009
Bring Me the Head of Diego Maradona
One of the great heartbreaks of my soccer-watching life was watching Argentina lose against Germany in the quarter finals of the 2006 World Cup. But I knew that with so many great players in the squad--Messi, Riquelme, Crespo, Aimar, Cambiasso, Coloccini, Tevez, Mascherano, Zanetti, Milito, Heinze, and others--that they'd arrive in South Africa ready to make things right. Unfortunately, many of the above players (Riquelme, Crespo, Aimar, Cambiasso, Coloccini) are no longer on the team for various reasons. Messi, so brilliant with Barcelona, is played as a striker instead of the gadfly forward Pep utilizes, and Tevez and Palermo (Palermo!) are disappointing to say the least.
So what's it going to take for the once-great player to step down from managing the Argentinian national squad? With the team currently in fifth place in their World Cup qualifying group and at risk of not making it into the tournament next summer, is Maradona so untouchable that he can't be fired? Is he so arrogant that he can't see that the best thing for the team, for his country, is to walk away after last night's defeat against Paraguay?
Don't answer the last question. I should know better than to ask it.