When Carlos Bilardo began his job as Argentina coach in January 1983, the first thing he did was to visit Maradona in Spain where he was playing for Barcelona.
Reuters Soccer Blog
Amid all the furore over Diego Maradona’s imminent appointment as Argentina coach, an equally surprising and significant development has been all but overlooked: the return of Carlos Bilardo to the national team set-up at the age of 69, and after an 18-year absence.
Imagine the scenario. FIFA decides to use post-match video evidence at the 1986 World Cup. After Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-final, the Argentinian is banned for two matches and the course of football history changes.
Take a look at the standings in the South American World Cup qualifying group and it seems that Argentina are making steady progress towards South Africa. After seven of the 18 games, Alfio Basile’s team are third with 12 points, two points behind the leaders, and only four goals conceded.
Amid all the Euro 2008 fuss, it has nearly been forgotten that one of the world’s great fixtures will be played on Wednesday when Brazil meet Argentina in a World Cup qualifier in Belo Horizonte.