AFTERMATH OF LOSS TO NIGERIA
Aftermath of the crushing 4-2 defeat Albiceleste suffered against the Super Eagles on Tuesday evening in an International friendly in Russia, Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona, yesterday criticised the faltering team. Now, Maradona wants another chance to lead the team to the World Cup next year as head coach.
Maradona, who last managed Argentina at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, dismissed the current set up led by Coach Jorge Sampaoli in an Instagram message moments after the team succumb to the defeat to Nigeria.
“I am angry because they have thrown away our prestige, but it’s not the fault of the lads,” he said. “I want to come back!!!”
The former player who single handedly gave Argentina the 1986 World Cup title is currently the coach of United Arab Emirates side Al Fujairah.
He posted statistics of 11 recent Argentina managers that showed his success rate was 75 per cent, greater even than that of Cesar Luis Menotti, who won the World Cup in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo, who lifted the trophy in 1986 when Maradona was at his brilliant playing best.
“Who won most??” Maradona wrote. “We draw our own conclusions.”
The former Boca Juniors and Napoli striker led Argentina to the quarterfinals in South Africa, where they were knocked out by Germany.
Current coach, Sampaoli, has had a bad start in his tenure since taking charge in June, winning four of his first eight games, but only one of four competitive fixtures.
The Argentines relied on Messi’s brilliance to beat host Ecuador to qualify for the Russia 2018 on the last day of the South American series.
In a related development, FC Barcelona defender and Captain of the losing Argentina side on Tuesday, Javier Mascherano, has commended the brilliant display of the Super Eagles and singled out Alex Iwobi as the man that tormented his side most.
Although the defender consoled himself that it’s better to lose in the flattering defeat now than at the World Cup, he however admitted that the Nigerian team is the most physical side the country had met in the recent time.
“Nigerians are very strong both on and off the ball and may be we should have defended better but their second goal was well taken by Arsenal lad (Alex Iwobi) then the fourth goal by same player killed the game off,” remarked the defender who was nutmegged by the Arsenal player before the final goal.
According to www.barcelonalive.com, aside Sergio Kun Aguero who did nor finish the match due to exhaustion at interval, Mascherano too is in doubt to be available for the Spanish giants this weekend in the La Liga as he suffered hamstring injury and likely to be out for four weeks.