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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup


Maradona hits out at Argentine FA

Diego Maradona has hit out at the Argentine FA (AFA), telling Sport Bild: “The current leaders of the association understand as much about football as Pakistan does.”

Gonzalo Higuain and Diego Maradona embrace
Diego Maradona does not see eye-to-eye with the AFA.

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Maradona was one of the game’s great players, leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, while also winning trophies in Spain and Italy, as well as his homeland.

However, the 53-year-old has so far failed to make an impact as a coach. With little experience, he took charge of Argentina in 2008, but saw his side crash out of the 2010 World Cup at the quarterfinal stage following a 4-0 defeat to Germany.

It still appeared, though, that Maradona would prolong his contract with the national team after the tournament in South Africa, only for the AFA to opt against the idea.

That decision led the former Barcelona player to launch a stinging attack on AFA president Julio Grondona and director of the national team Carlos Bilardo, claiming he was sacked by the pair.

Four years on, Maradona has still not forgiven the AFA, and in an interview with Sport Bild, he once again hit out at his former employer.

“The AFA has played dirty tricks on me. I should have also been the Argentina coach at the [2014] World Cup. But the current leaders of the association understand as much about football as Pakistan does,” Maradona said.

"They don’t have a clue at all. To clarify: There are certainly many good things in Pakistan, but I have never seen them play a World Cup final. I say: The current association leaders in Argentina are the same as Pakistan."

Unlike Pakistan, Argentina will take part in the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Maradona is refusing to hand the role of tournament favourites to anyone, although he said that “should Neymar be the best player at the World Cup, then Brazil will probably win the title.”

He added: “But it will be extremely difficult for Brazil to win the World Cup. Neymar is an extraordinary player, but he also needs 10 teammates at his side. For [Brazil coach Luiz Felipe] Scolari it is very difficult to find the ideal XI. His predecessors did not have those problems.”


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