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Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Saturday, 25 September 2010 11:59 UK

Diego Maradona wants to return as Argentina coach

World Cup humiliation at the hands of Germany hastened Maradona's departure (UK users only)

Diego Maradona says he wants to coach Argentina again and is willing to even get rid of his much-criticised assistants to return to the role.

His 20-month reign ended in July after Argentina were beaten 4-0 by Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.

The 49-year-year-old was told he could only continue as coach if he changed his backroom team, and his refusal led to his contract not being renewed.

"I'd give my life to be the national team coach," Maradona said.

"I'm dying to be with the team. I am thirsty for revenge."

However, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has hired Sergio Batista as caretaker coach and the 47-year-old former midfielder is being tipped to get the job on a full-time basis.


AFA president Julio Grondona said in August that it would take a "very large problem" for Batista not to get the job.

Under Batista, Argentina beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 before recording an impressive 4-1 victory over World Cup winners Spain.

Batista, a team-mate of Maradona in Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning team, also has the support of key players such as Barcelona's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

Maradona, who acknowledged his chances of returning as Argentina coach were uncertain, praised Messi for his contribution during the World Cup in South Africa.

"Messi lacked the good luck I had in 86," reflected Maradona.

"He and Spain's Andres Iniesta were the best players at the World Cup, Diego Forlan was the most effective," he added of the Uruguay player voted the best at the finals.

Maradona has shown interest in a number of roles, including both the Mexico and Portugal jobs, but admitted: "The Mexicans said they didn't want me, the Portuguese, I don't know."

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see also
Maradona hits out at 'betrayal'
28 Jul 10 |  Football
Maradona's Argentina reign ends
27 Jul 10 |  Football
Maradona backed to stay as coach
22 Jul 10 |  Football
Argentina offer Maradona new deal
15 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sad Maradona considering future
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Argentine journalists on Maradona
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
How Maradona inspired a nation
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010

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