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By ESPN Staff

Maradona to lead Argentina to World Cup finals?

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Diego Maradona has revealed he would like to coach Argentina following the surprise resignation of Alfio Basile the previous day.

"I would be really delighted, who wouldn't, to coach the national team," he told the TyC Sports cable channel when asked if he would like a chance.

"I am completely willing and at the disposal of the Argentina team."

Maradona has appeared as a rank outsider in the race to replace Basile, with Miguel Angel Russo, Sergio Batista, Diego Simeone and Carlos Bianchi seen as favourites.

The former captain appears more likely to be given an assistant or advisory role, especially if Batista, his team mate in the 1986 World Cup-winning side, is given the job.

Jose Luis Brown, a defender in 1986 and coach of the under-17 side, may also be given a role in a Batista-led team.

"Batista and Brown have more experience than me," said Maradona, who had two brief stints as a coach in the early 1990s with provincial club Deportivo Mandiyu and then Racing Club.

Maradona said he was taken aback by Basile's resignation which followed a run of indifferent performances and results this year.

"I was surprised and I'm sorry about it. I think the situation could have been turned around," he said.

"You reach a moment when you don't get the results and the confidence drops. This means the team loses it's strongest points, which are it's passing, playing one-twos and enjoying the game."

Basile quit one day after Argentina lost 1-0 to Chile in a World Cup qualifier, their only defeat so far this year and their first against their neighbours since 1973.

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