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Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 21:26 UK

Diego Maradona should continue says Argentina chief

Argentine coach Diego Maradona

How Maradona inspired a nation

Diego Maradona should carry on as Argentina boss, says the president of the country's football association.

Despite suggestions he would be offered a new deal, running until the 2014 World Cup, by the middle of this week, Maradona's future remains uncertain.

Maradona has hinted he could quit but Julio Grondona told Radio Mitre: "He finished fifth, better than other World Cups - that should be valued.

"It seems to me to be only correct that he stay on, I don't see why not."

Grondona was due to meet the 49-year-old legend on 21 July but details of any discussions between the pair are still to be confirmed.


Argentina crashed out of the World Cup in the last eight as they were thrashed 4-0 by Germany, drawing criticism from some fans.

But Grondona, the president of the Argentine Football Association, said he was pleased with Maradona's time as coach, including their fraught qualification for the tournament after Maradona replaced Alfio Basile.

"He took over at a very difficult moment and he qualified, which is important," insisted Grondona.

Following the defeat by the Germans, Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 as a player, said he was seriously considering his future as manager and would talk to his family and players.

"This is the most difficult experience of my life," he said on 4 July. "Because to [lose] in front of so many good players, such good people, such good professionals is like getting punched by Muhammad Ali. I don't have any energy left."

One of Maradona's assistants, former Argentina defender Oscar Ruggeri, does appear to be heading for the exit door.

"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," the president added, alluding to the catastrophic defeat at the hands of Germany.

Diego Maradona

Maverick Maradona's sideline exploits

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see also
Argentina offer Maradona new deal
15 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Argentina 0-4 Germany
03 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sad Maradona considering future
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup quarter-final photos
03 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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