In a move that would be equivalent to appointing Paul Gascoigne to take over from Fabio Capello, the Argentina FA have named Diego Maradona as their next national football coach. And to remind you just how good a footballer he was, Vision Sport has a selection of his greatest moments, plus some he probably would rather forget.
The move is regarded as such a shock that even the great man himself admitted to suspecting that his meeting with senior Argentina FA officials to discuss the role was being filmed by secret cameras as part of a practical joke.
But despite his many problems with alcohol, drugs and obesity over the years, not to mention his limited coaching experience, El Diego (as he’s known in Argentina) will be a popular choice among the people. He retains an iconic status in his homeland for a successful playing career that took in teams like Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli, and included a pivotal role in the national side. A flawed character with a history of health problems he may be, but the affection for him in Argentina is limitless.
But it’s not just in Argentina that Maradona is still fondly remembered. Ask any football fan over the age of 20 who they would regard as the best ever footballer and it’s an almost certainty that Maradona would feature heavily. Even the many English fans that still feel bitter about his “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup, would have to concede that his second goal in that game was one of the best ever seen.
Many players over the years have been compared to the great one, but no one has yet managed to reach the heights and generate such overwhelming feelings of national pride in Argentina as Diego Armando Maradona.