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Sep 15, 2010

Maradona shows interest in vacant Portugal job

Former Argentina boss Diego Maradona is interested in taking over the Portugal job after Carlos Queiroz was sacked last week, according to reports.

Queiroz was let go after a dismal start to the country's Euro 2012 qualifiers - a 4-4 draw with Cyprus and a 1-0 defeat to Finland - and for his part in a row with anti-doping agents before the World Cup that saw him land a six-month ban from the Portuguese football federation (FPF).

With the FPF now keen to name a replacement, the Portuguese media have talked up the chances of former Sporting coach Paulo Bento. However, the federation are believed to favour a move for a coach with international experience, and Jose Pekerman and Javier Aguirre have been linked, alongside Maradona, with the potential candidates showing interest.

"It's true [Maradona is interested],'' Alejandro Mancuso, one of Maradona's assistants during his spell as Argentina coach, told the A Bola sports daily. ''Diego and I talked about it, and it is a project that attracts us. He is willing and has availability, but has not been contacted yet."

Pekerman, another former Argentina coach, is also open to the job. "Many national sides wanted to hire him, but he was not interested. The Portuguese team, yes, that interests him," his agent Jose Sanchez Parra told the Portuguese radio station Renascenca.

Aguirre, who resigned as Mexico coach in June, has reportedly also put his hat in the ring, but the FPF will have to move quickly if the new boss is to have any chance of turning Portugal's Euro 2012 campaign around, starting with a tough home game against Denmark on October 8.

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