Should Maradona continue after heavyweight blow?
A devastated Diego Maradona left his future open after Argentina’s painful 4-0 defeat by Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
Maradona said defeat was like receiving a punch from Muhammad Ali and there will be many who will criticise the coach for his squad picks, team selection and tactics after the country’s heaviest World Cup loss since 1958.
It was indeed a real buffeting and I’m sure anti-Maradonistas will find plenty of arguments to back up calls for his departure but I suspect many neutrals at this World Cup will feel his boundless energy and the clear bond he had with his players offered a persuasive argument for him to continue in charge.
“I’m so proud of my players and I would like to thank them,” he said in an address that at times sounded valedictory. “I may leave tomorrow but I want these boys to go on showing what they can do. We didn’t fulfil the dream but I believe whoever comes after me will follow a path true to Argentine football.”
Asked to clear up his future, he would not commit himself.
“We will see what happens,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it. I have to check that with my family and the players but regardless I realise that as coach and as players that the type of football people like is this one.
“Nearing 50, this was the worst thing I’ve had to live through. It’s a blow from Muhammad Ali.”
Will he get back up off the canvas and fight on?