Maradona: Argentine national team going nowhere with Scaloni as head coach
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona said his country’s national team was going nowhere under the guidance of current caretaker head coach Lionel Scaloni.
Maradona, who has coached Mexican second-division club Dorados de Sonora to the semi-finals of the Apertura 2018 championship, the first of the 2018-2019 season, lamented that one Argentine manager he respects, Gerardo Martino, is expected to be signed by Mexico’s national team.
Martino has led Atlanta United to the semi-finals of the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs but has opted not to return to that team next season.
“I played with ‘Tata’ Martino at (Argentine club) Newell’s (Old Boys), and he’s a great person. They’re now talking about him in Mexico, and we Argentines have this kid Lionel Scaloni. It’s not his fault he’s there, but the problem is he thinks he’s a coach and wants to go to the World Cup . He can go, but to the motorcycle World Cup, not the soccer one,” he said.
Maradona said it was particularly frustrating considering that Argentina has a lot of astute coaching minds.
“It’s not easy to lead Mexico. Martino’s going to have it tough. But in Argentina, we’re so bad off that we’re flailing around even though we have Cesar Luis Menotti, Ricardo Gareca, Gustavo Alfaro, Marcelo Gallardo, Guillermo Barros Schelotto. We have a bunch of good coaches and there Scaloni is,” he said.
Referring to Dorados’ 2-0 home victory over Juarez in Wednesday night’s first leg of their semi-final series, Maradona said he was grateful that his team was one step closer to the Apertura title.
“Juarez and Dorados know each other well. We forced them to attack us in the second half and they weren’t able to do it. On Saturday we’ll play them based on the flaws we’ve seen. (Sinaloa assistant coach) Luis Islas and I have analyzed our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.