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Butcher intrigued by Maradona

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Last Updated: 17/11/08 4:02pm

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Butcher intrigued by Maradona

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Scotland assistant manager Terry Butcher is relishing the challenge of pitting his wits against Diego Maradona in Wednesday's friendly.

Maradona is expected to get a good reception when Argentina take on Scotland at Hampden Park.

Butcher played for England in the famous World Cup quarter-final defeat to Argentina in 1986 and hopes to ensure that Maradona does not enjoy his first game in charge.

Butcher insists he is more focused on the match itself than Maradona as Scotland build towards their next World Cup qualifiers in the spring.

"It is a game that everyone is looking forward to and it will be a fantastic match, but it is also a case of looking forward to March and April," Butcher told Sky Sports News.

"There is also the side issue of Maradona coming to Scotland where he is a hero, and to come up against some of the best players in the world will be a fantastic experience.

"I'll never forgive him. It's not nice to lose a World Cup quarter-final under those circumstances, but that was 22 years ago and this isn't about that game.

"It is very interesting, very intriguing. But this is all about Scotland playing Argentina."


Butcher believes the appointment of Maradona will have a positive impact on Argentina and fears it will be a difficult night for Scotland.

But Butcher, who also offered his opinion on the greatest player of all time debate, has urged his men to enjoy of the occasion

"He was the best player I've played against but, for me, Pele was the best I have seen," said Butcher.

"But to have somebody like Maradona coaching the national team, then that is fantastic for the Argentina players.

"Players do hold him in high regard and they will be keen to impress their new boss and their idol. It will probably work against Scotland on Wednesday.

"It is an excellent appointment for Argentina. It provides a focal point for the players, look at (Marco) Van Basten for Holland or (Jurgen) Klinsmann for Germany.

"I think it does galvanise you if you are being selected by the best player your country has ever produced.

"It is a big test for us but it is a test that everyone is looking forward to. You remember these games for the rest of your life.

"As far as we are concerned, it is great preparation for us."

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