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Next

Five Aside: Di Maria a skillful crosser

Five Aside 14 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 19, 2008

Maradona taunts Butcher again after debut win

Diego Maradona mocked old foe Terry Butcher after a Maxi Rodriguez goal gave Argentina victory over Scotland at Hampden in his first match in charge of the South Americans.

The Scotland assistant manager - who played for England when Maradona scored his 'Hand of God' goal in the infamous 1986 World Cup quarter-final victory in Mexico - insisted he was still feeling so sore about the incident he would not shake Maradona's hand after their challenge match at the national stadium.

While Maradona fretted about the health of his youngest daughter Giannina, who had suffered a pregnancy scare which had led to her fiance, Sergio Aguero, quitting the Argentina camp to return to Spain, Maxi slid the ball past Scotland keeper Allan McGregor with only eight minutes gone to set up a comfortable win.

Butcher was nowhere to be seen when the final whistle sounded but afterwards at the press conference, when asked if had shaken the former England captain's hand, Maradona retorted: "Who is he? Who is Butcher?

"I greeted the Scotland manager after the game. Who is Butcher?''

Then bursting into a wide smile, Maradona said: "Since the bad news I've had about my daughter, it's the first time I've managed to laugh. I've been thinking of my daughter and her baby and the lads made things easy for me during a difficult time.

"She was happy for me to be here leading the Argentina side. The players wore the shirt with pride and made me proud. It was a great experience and I was relaxed throughout. It was a clear victory for us. We were brilliant for the first 25 minutes and scored a goal but we couldn't convert our half chances.

"We gave the ball away too easily but even then Scotland couldn't capitalise so we deserved our victory.''

Scotland manager George Burley claimed the match would put his side in fine fettle for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Holland in Amsterdam next March.

"It was definitely a worthwhile exercise and a great workout for our players,'' said Burley. "We were playing against one of the best teams in the world and Holland are also a top-10 team.

"It will be a tough game over there but there were lots of bonuses and pluses. After the first 20 minutes, which they dominated, we held our own. It was good for our players to play against Carlos Tevez and other top names just as it was good for me when I played against Diego here in 1979.

"We had Barry Ferguson and Alan Hutton back and Allan McGregor did well but I thought our best player was Kris Commons, it was good to see him take players on.

"So we will go in to the Holland game in a good mood.''

Argentina captain Javier Mascherano revealed he and his team-mates were inspired by the sight of Maradona on the bench.

Liverpool midfielder Mascherano told Sky Sports 1: "I think it's a new era. It was very important to win. I think we played well in the first half. The second half, we needed to fight. We fought, so we are really happy. It's a good start; we are very proud.

"You see Maradona on the bench coaching, it's fantastic for us. It's just a friendly match but it's a good start."

"It's difficult to compare different managers. I think when you start to play with a new manager, the new motivation is so different. I don't like to talk so much about the last manager or to compare. Now we need to think about the future.

"It's fantastic to start like this. If we can improve, we have to improve our level.

Man of the match Carlos Tevez added: "Being the first game, I think it was a good game for his first game in charge."

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