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    Dec 2009

    Default Maradona's future is unclear after World Cup exit

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    CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- Diego Maradona's future as Argentina coach is unclear after the team's devastating 4-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals.
    "I may leave tomorrow, but I'd like that these boys continue showing who they are and keep playing real Argentina football," Maradona said, looking tired and heartbroken after the match in Cape Town.
    Asked to clarify his plans for the future, he said "I'll have to think carefully about it ... and talk with my family, and the players. There are many issues here."
    Whatever happens, Maradona said that Argentina was on the right path and that "whoever comes after me" should continue its attacking style of play despite the collapse against Germany.
    After four consecutive wins in the World Cup, Argentina -- and Maradona -- didn't know how to respond when Germany's early goal left the team trailing for the first time in the tournament.
    He made no changes at halftime, even though his team had struggled throughout the first half, losing possession as soon as it crossed into the German area. He was about to make his first substitution when Miroslav Klose tapped in Germany's second goal halfway through the second half.
    "I'm as disappointed as all Argentines," Maradona said. "To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt."
    Maradona was derided in Argentina before the tournament for leading the team by instinct and emotion rather than a tactical plan. He lashed out at his critics with a stream of profanities when Argentina defeated Uruguay, finally ending a draining struggle to qualify for the World Cup.
    But the criticism abated as Argentina won four consecutive games in South Africa, raising hopes that the team could lift the World Cup trophy for the first time since Maradona won it as a player in 1986.
    The coach got irritated when asked whether anyone is Argentina was satisfied with the team's loss.
    "Are you joking," he said. "This is a country where you live and breathe football. I don't think that any will be happy when the team loses 4-0."
    ...being a human...



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