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Maradona-watch

By Dan Lucas
, BBC Sport at Hampden

BBC Sport gives a rundown of Diego Maradona's approach to his first match as Argentina manager against Scotland.

1947: Diego Maradona casually strolls out of the tunnel. One hand behind his back, the odd wave and smile, looking completely unfazed by the occasion. Like a small, curious animal peeping out of his burrow, he's back out of sight within 30 seconds.

1957: As he follows his players out of the tunnel, with fireworks lighting up the Glasgow sky and the sound of bagpipes piercing through the rain, he quickly crosses himself, but his face remains emotionless.

2003: The Hampden roar is tastefully dedicated to the new manager, and Maradona's first game as an international boss is under way.

Argentina manager Diego Maradona
Maradona issues instructions from the technical area

2013: GOAL for Argentina! Maxi Rodriguez gives his legendary manager a dream start, but the man of the moment remains firmly in his seat, tucked cosily alongside his staff.

2021: Diego takes his first steps into the technical area. He storms out to the white dotted line, screams and points, then pauses. His instructions are apparently not heard.

He rushes all the way to the touchline this time, as if he wants his players to feel his presence on the pitch, but is calmly pushed back by the linesman. He says what has to be said, turns, and jogs back to his seat. There is a little ripple of appreciation on each leg of the journey.

2048: A second appearance in the technical area. Carlos Tevez is fouled in the middle of the park, but Maradona, like a true coach, seems more intent on giving his coaching orders than disputing the decision. Again, the trip is brief, but chants of 'Diego, Diego Diego' are heard from the spirited group of 300 or so away fans.

2049: Half time. Maradona leaves the field where he scored his first goal as an Argentina player and witnessed his first goal as manager of the national side.

2107: After his team-talk, Diego makes his way down the tunnel with a smile on his face and quickly finds his seated position for the second half.

2116: The boss remains still. Calm, focused and generally unimpressed.

2132: His first substitution. Lucho Gonzalez replaces Jonas Gutierrez. Will the replacement be a match for the impressive Newcastle winger? We have 20 minutes to find out.

2135: Looking down to the bench, German Denis towers above Diego as the little man gives instructions to the ongoing striker. His second substitution is complete.

2138: Again, Diego is out of his seat but only as far as the edge of the bench. He's frantically waving his arms, expressing his displeasure at something.

Argentina manager Diego Maradona gives the thumbs-up sign
Maradona gives the thumbs-up sign at Hampden

2145: This time he sends his assistant manager to summon a sub from the warm-up area. He shoots into the technical area to greet Emiliano Papa, who is booed off the park.

2149: Maradona, a lot more active in these final moments, marches out to the white dotted line to bark out more orders. This time, he stays a little longer than usual, perhaps nervously awaiting the result of a Scottish attack.

2151: He's up again, this time pointing his sub Jose Ernesto Sosa in the right direction.

2154: As the final whistle draws closer, Diego creeps onto the red tarmac of the technical area. He seems wary of stepping all the way out onto the grass. He pauses for a few moments then bursts out to the dotted line to yell his final instructions.

2155: The full time whistle blows and Diego punches the air with joy. He shakes a few hands, hugs his staff and is then surrounded by police as the photographers close in.

2156: As his victorious players stroll off the pitch, he hugs every single one of them like they were his children. He successfully avoids every Scot and the match officials, remaining focused on squeezing and congratulating all of his players.

Only when his last player is hugged, is he happy to turn back down the tunnel.

Job done for Diego. One goal, four substitutions, five trips to the technical area and a win on his first game in charge. Could we really have expected anything less from the football legend?

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see also
Scotland 0-1 Argentina
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Argentina deserved win - Maradona
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Scots boss hails useful exercise
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Internationals as they happened
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Maradona: made in Glasgow
17 Nov 08 |  Football


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