Bye Bye Diego

Maradona chose to head to Venezuela as his future as coach of Argentina's national team was being decided.

    So Diego Maradona is out as coach of Argentina's national team.

    He came back to Buenos Aires from South Africa and found a hero's welcome in spite of the fact that Argentina had lost to Germany 4-0. 

    But Diego did not take advantage of the people's goodwill and the respect and admiration they continue to have for him. Immediately after flying home rumours about Diego Maradona's future began.

    Maradona was supposed to have met Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentine Football Association, but he said had something more important to do.

    He flew to Venezuela to meet with President Hugo Chavez and stood by him when Chavez announced that he was breaking, once again, his diplomatic relations with Colombia. Colombia had accused Venezuela of harbouring left-wing guerrillas in its territory.

    But this is Maradona's life - he ended up in the middle of the Colombia-Venezuela crises and as always had lots of opinions about it.

    It seems like ages now when we saw him, Julio Grondona and Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, all together announcing a government move that would allow all Argentines to watch football for free on television.

    The Kirchners took away the business from private cable companies and now Argentinians can watch the games on public TV. Maradona was friends with the Kirchners then, but now he has eschewed the invitations of Argentina's president and instead went to visit Chavez.

    Julio Grondona had claimed that he was willing to renew Maradona's contract for four more years, but only if the manager made changes to his coaching staff. And of course Maradona said no.

    Pride and stubbornness above anything else have been his motto throughout his life. It is what made him great, but also what now left him without a job.


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