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By ESPN Staff

Argentina president backs Maradona to stay

Julio Grondona, the president of Argentina's Football Association, believes Diego Maradona deserves to carry on as coach of the national side after he steered them to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Argentina struggled to qualify for the tournament in South Africa after Maradona took over from previous coach Alfio Basile and their campaign came to an end with a 4-0 defeat to Germany in the last eight. Nevertheless, Grondona believes Maradona has been successful so far in difficult circumstances.

"He took over at a very difficult moment and he qualified, which is important,'' he told Radio Mitre. "And he finished fifth, better than in other World Cups - all of that should be valued. It seems to me to be only correct that he stay on, I don't see why not."

One of Maradona's assistants, former Argentina defender Oscar Ruggeri, seems unlikely to have his contract renewed, however.

"His name was put forward by me, but we had lots of problems,'' Grondona said. "And I'll tell you something you may find funny - he was the defensive coach."

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