The Argentine Football Administration recently said that Diego Maradona’s World Cup quarterfinals “fifth place” finish was “below what people expect”, “but it’s not embarrassing.” One funny thing is that the president, Cherquis Bialo, did refer to the Argentine side’s result as fifth even though in reality there were four teams that all finished in that fifth seed for losing their quarterfinals match.
And to be honest I am a bit surprised that Maradona would be granted another four years after showing extreme uneasiness at times as the manager during his first campaign. Maradona struggled to find any normalcy with the squad in the last year and the former soccer legend used over 100 players for his qualifying run last fall. That is not only an army like amount, but it is a FIFA record. Also the manager heading into the Cup changed formations although for much of their Cup run the move paid off big dividends.
But against Germany, Maradona and Argentina faced a much more prepared squad and the offensive tactics created by the coach produced little offense for Messi and company. Argentina was overmatched and the side was “embarrassed” with their largest postseason loss in their nation’s World Cup history.
Maradona is of course always at the center of controversy (being the man that scored on the Hand of God goal) and the Argentine coach did keep the tabloids interesting heading into the World Cup by claiming he would streak naked through Buenos Aires if his side wins. He also was involved in a brief altercation with some German fans following his exit from the quarterfinals.
The 2014 World Cup will be played on South American soil in Brazil. This fact could lure the legend back for one more shot at the title.