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Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 05:41 GMT 06:41 UK
Maradona offers to help
Diego Maradona would have the weight of popular support behind him
Maradona would have popular support
Diego Maradona says he is prepared to coach Argentina for nothing.

The Argentine legend made his offer in the wake of his country's exit from the World Cup at the first stage, after being ranked as favourites.

Maradona, who is not currently involved in football, made his claim while a guest in Panama of ex-world boxing champion Roberto Duran.

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I would coach the national team for free
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Diego Maradona

Marcelo Bielsa's contract as coach is about to expire, and the Argentine football federation are keen for him to sign a new one.

But Argentina's dismal showing in the World Cup has divided the media, and Maradona's offer will gain some popular support.

He said: "I would coach the national team for free.

"I've always said it, and I'll say it again, I would coach the national team and I don't need a single Real to do so."

"I'm ready to take over as soon as I'm asked."


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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