Maradona open to job offer
Argentine legend keen to replace Basile
By Chris Burton & Patricio Figueroa. Last Updated: 17/10/08 9:40pm
Maradona: In the frame
Diego Maradona has admitted that he would be willing to coach the Argentinean national side.
Alfio Basile surprising resigned from the post on Thursday, despite the South American giants being well-placed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
Faced with a managerial void to fill the rumour mill has already churned out a list of possible candidates.
Unsurprisingly national hero Maradona is among them, although the 47-year-old has expressed a desire to be considered.
"I think that the moment has arrived for those that gave joy to all the Argentineans in 1986. I would love to be the coach of Argentina, who wouldn't like to have the chance of being the coach of Argentina?" he said in a telephone interview with the TyC Sports channel.
"I think that we deserve a chance but we must respect the other candidates because I am sure that they have enough quality for coaching the national team".
"This is the moment for changing things within the national team. Some players need to leave their place for younger players, otherwise I would be still playing."
However, despite his enthusiasm for the role, Maradona accepts he is likely to be an outsider in the race as more experienced coaches such as Miguel Angel Russo, Sergio Batista, Carlos Bianchi, Jose Luis Brown and Diego Simeone have also been touted.
"Batista and Brown have more experience than me," he added.
The 1986 World Cup-winning captain also admitted he was shocked to hear of Basile's departure regardless of a recent run of indifferent results which culminated in a 1-0 defeat to Chile on Wednesday.
"I was surprised and I'm sorry about it. I think the situation could have been turned around," he said.
"You reach a moment when you don't get the results and the confidence drops. This means the team loses its strongest points, which are its passing, playing one-twos and enjoying the game."