Footballs enfant terrible will be in full view again at the World Cup after a long hiatus – this time as the Argentinian National Coach. The two lasting memories of anyone growing up in the eighties is the sight of Maradona holding aloft the 1986 trophy and the dazzling run of the “Goal of the century” that he scored against England.
Equally clear in my mind is the 1990 World Cup Final, which ended with Maradona in tears after a poor show and being dethroned by Germany.
There are few players who have evoked great passion as Maradona has. There is a “Church of Maradona” formed by his devotee fans. Argentina drools over him as a national treasure forgetting his tryst with drugs and an humiliating ejection from the World Cup.
So what will it be for Maradona this time – the Title or Tears?. Going by their qualification campaign it would be highly unlikely for them to be serious contenders. They have an excellent bunch of footballers and probably the best in Messi. But since 1986 Argentina have never looked like winning and I see nothing in the team that will scare the likes of England, Brazil , Italy, Germany and some more teams. They dont play the brand of football that Brazil can nor are they as organised as the European teams. They will require “The Hand of God” to be blessing them to make an impact on the World Cup. If Messi does a Maradona, they might still win and magnify the Legend that is Maradona.
I will be watching the Argentinian games being a die -hard Argentinian and Maradona fan and also the following players who are exceptional
Diego Milito – Provides the Cannigia like predatory presence upfront. Hopefully Maradona will give him a few games
Carlos Tevez – A complete strike force if he is fed well from the mid-field
Veron – yes, hes still there. Is he the right choice over Riquelme Can he perform at the biggest stage? Time will tell.
There are others Heinze, Higuain and Maxi Rodrigues.
The Blue and White stripes are not the favourites but I am rooting on them to dish out some moments of magic like the ones produced by their Conjurer Coach.