Thursday, February 11, 2010

Argentinians: Maradona & Valdano

Diego Armando Maradona. This name brings many different memories to many people. Some will remember him as the greatest footballer of all times. Others may remember him for having scored one of the most controversial goals that led him to be known as having "La mano de dios" - (the hand of god). Some may even remember him as a drug-addict footballer overreacting on camera, clearly being on a drug-related high. Some others may remember him as that close-to-obese small man - who seemed was doomed to have a short life. However, the younger fans may simply see him as an unfortunate choice for managing the Argentian national team today.
Jorge Valdano, Real Madrid's Sports Director was also a great footballer in his time. However, these two were not comparable as footballers - although they did play together. What has brough "Diegito" back in to the news these days are his comments regarding Valdano. Valdano has taken part in the sale of Argentian defender Gabriel Heinze at the end of last season. However, Maradona has falsely accused him of being the sole reason why he was forced out of Real Madrid. He also blames Valdano for Gago being dropped from the starting eleven under Manuel Pellegrini's coaching.

He goes on to claim that Valdano seems to be conspiring against Argentinians. He says that he finds this disgusting and fails to understand how an Argentinian can stab another one in their back. The funny thing is, that these comments have come as a standalone. Valdano has not been in public talking about the Argentinian Real players at all. Gago was in the news recently as he had apparently requested to be transfer listed, and the club (Maradona says Valdano alone) denied him from this opportunity.

The crude reality is far from this. Maradona is and has not been a good manager for his nation. When asked about Real Madrid superstar, and recently contract-renewed, Gonzalo Higuaín, Maradona claims that Valdano would like to do the same as with Gago and Heinze, but cannot due to the great form Higuaín has been demonstrating. Again, the truth is very different, and Higuaín has always had the club and Valdano's full support - the only difference is, he is, unlike Heinze and Gago extremely talented, and worthy of wearing a Real shirt.

What Maradona forgets, is that he waited years to call Higuaín up for a national game, when the rest of the world was waiting for it to happen, especially the player. Gonzalo Higuaín is actually born in France, and Domenech was knocking on his door since the age go 19 to play for France. Higuaín's loyal and ambitious character, made him wait patiently, and prove on the pitch that he was a true Argentian, and in fact their best striker.

Maradona's passion for football and extravagant lifestyle have interfered with his role, and in fact is making him a traitor to his own: something the football and Diego-crazy nation will never accept.

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