Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Maradona to coach Argentina — your views

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Incredible but apparently true — Diego Maradona is to be the new coach of the Argentine national team.

That is according to reports running on Argentine TV at the moment and the news has apparently been confirmed by the 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo, who may be signing up as part of Maradona’s staff.

Maradona, as we all know, has had a colourful past (to put it mildly) and if true it must go down as one of the biggest gambles taken by a major national association.

Will it work? As a player, Maradona inspired an otherwise rather modest Argentina squad to their World Cup victory in 1986 and perhaps he can work the same sort of magic as a coach.

Gilardino handball goal ban sets interesting precedent

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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.

Belgium beat West Germany in the final in Mexico City.

A two-game ban is exactly what Alberto Gilardino has received for deliberately scoring the opener with his arm in Fiorentina’s 3-1 win at Palermo on Sunday.

Attack is the only way back for France

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Why are France struggling so much in their World Cup qualifying campaign ?

Such a team should not have had any problems against Austria, Serbia or Romania, the three teams they’ve met so far. Yet, they only have four points and it could have been worse, as it seemed Les Bleus were in for a spanking in Romania in their last game as they were trailing 2-0 after 15 minutes.

That was until Yoann Gourcuff netted with the kind of shot you see in the Bundesliga every weekend but that we have not seen here in France since Franck Sauzee in the 1990s: a 30-metre drive that went under the bar and put France back on track.

Beckham to AC Milan? Your views

It’s not totally confirmed yet but it looks like David Beckham is joining AC Milan on a short-term loan deal.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, desperate to keep his fitness up and impress England coach Fabio Capello during the U.S. close season, is taking a big risk in coming to Italy.

Vlog on the pitch – who would you pick for England?

Fabio Capello showed his worth with some inspired selections and substitutions in England’s 5-1 win over Kazakhstan and 3-1 victory in Belarus in World Cup qualifying.

With Joe Cole injured, Capello managed to fashion a way for Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to play with each other while the introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips helped on both occasions.

Why are Italian coaches so good?

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Marcello LippiItaly’s Marcello Lippi has equalled the record for the most Azzurri games without defeat and Fabio Capello’s England have managed their best ever start to World Cup qualifying.

We should also not forget evergreen Giovanni Trapattoni, whose modest yet undefeated Ireland side are just three points behind world champions Italy in Group Eight.

A little humility goes a long way for England

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Wayne Rooney

England have made their best start to a World Cup qualifying campaign and Wayne Rooney thinks he’s playing at his best, so why haven’t Fabio Capello’s men been bragging about how they’re going to bring home the trophy in 2010?

What has been striking about the Capello era is a new sense of humility and realism that England players had long lacked.

An unnecessary Swiss trip

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A South African World CupAfrica’s remaining World Cup contenders have to travel north across the Mediterranean, over the Alps and on to Zurich next week to find out who they meet in the battle for places at the 2010 finals.

How ridiculous is it that the draw for the last phase of the African preliminaries will take place in the Swiss city ahead of a first-ever African World Cup and at a time when FIFA is trumpeting all sorts of African initiatives.

Kuranyi’s disappearing act given mixed reception

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Kevin KuranyiThe great and the good of German soccer have been quick to condemn Kevin Kuranyi after the Schalke 04 striker walked away from the national team at the weekend.

Former Germany coach Franz Beckenbauer said Kuranyi’s behaviour was “ridiculous” and had overshadowed the good impression Germany made in their 2-1 win over Russia.

Should fans be criticised for booing their own team?

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Fabio CapelloSupporters are in the firing line after incidents at this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers.

England fans were criticised by coach Fabio Capello and stand-in captain Rio Ferdinand for booing Ashley Cole after his mistake led to a goal in the 5-1 win over Kazakhstan. 

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