Maradona hits back at critics
Argentina boss Diego Maradona has fiercely turned on his critics after qualifying for the World Cup.
Last Updated: 15/10/09 8:33am
Under-fire Argentina manager Diego Maradona has fiercely turned on his critics after his side qualified for the 2010 World Cup, but has also hinted that his future is not certain.
A 1-0 win in Uruguay on Wednesday night booked a place in South Africa next summer as a late Mario Bolatti goal eased the pressure on his boss.
Maradona, a legend in his playing days, has been regularly questioned following a stuttering campaign, which ended in a fourth-placed finish in South American qualifying.
But with qualification assured, Maradona has hit back at those who have debated his credentials to manage the national team.
"I want to say that all the people that criticised me and treated me as garbage can eat their words," he told a press conference after the win over Uruguay.
"This victory is for the people that trusted in us, but it's not for those that said lies about us. I am not going to name them but they know who they are.
"I want to dedicate this victory to the supporters who came to Uruguay to support us, for my players and for the people that work next to me.
"I was sure that my team was going to qualify. I had said to them that I wanted them to show in this match all their value and they did that.
"Regarding other people, I want to say to them to eat their words.
"I have many things to analyse but I am not going to do it reading what the press says because the press lies.
"They have said all the time that I was having problems with (general manager) Carlos Bilardo and that's not true.
"I don't usually read the newspapers or listen to sports programmes but my daughters do and they told me what had been said about me. So, I repeat, to all those that said anything against me, keep eating your words.
"I am very proud of my players, they made me feel a real coach because all of what we had planned in dressing room, they did it on the pitch.
"Now we have a lot of time for working calmly and for analysing many things."
However, asked if was would still be Argentina boss at the World Cup finals, Maradona added: "I don't know, I have to talk with (Argentine football executive) Julio Grondona and then I will decide."
Juan Sebastian Veron has called for a reorganisation of Argentina's hierarchy, with the midfielder saying: "We don't celebrate these kind of things because Argentina has enough history in football to qualify without having to wait until the last match.
"I think that all the time that we have from now until the World Cup is played should be used for organising things better. I mean from the president, the board members, going through the coach, his assistants and all the players that have been part of this process.
"Many things have been wrong and now there is time for correcting them so Argentina arrives in South Africa in the best way as possible."
But defender Martin Demichelis said: "The ticket to the World Cup gives us a better future in our careers and it's important for each one of us, our families and all the Argentineans."