Diego Maradona is in a class of two: along with Pele, he is either the greatest soccer player to ever touch a ball or the 2nd greatest. Opinions on who belongs where are very divided, but whatever camp people are in they readily acknowledge that the other guy, if not as good as their guy, is clearly #2, not to be lumped in with the next group of players below them(#3 to #10 approximately).
Diego Maradona as a national team manager? Too early to tell how effective, successful or popular he will become in this role, for he is still on the early part of this new journey. What is absolutely certain is that he is already one of the most colorful, entertaining, and possibly batshit crazy coaches of all time, although he might actually have us all fooled into thinking he is an insane fool when he's really a genius who is just on some next level shit that we cannot even begin to fathom.
His incredible resume of recent accomplishments, sane and insane, is well documented. However, one incident in particular is worth reviewing because it is quickly becoming a theme and a mantra that just might propel El Loco Diego and his band of supremely talented footballers all the way to the final and perhaps even the land of milk and honey that lays beyond: Argentina's 3rd World Cup title.
The Summer of ¡Sigue Chupando!
When Argentina finally qualified for this World Cup, on the very final day, El Diego used the post game press conference to defiantly put his critics in the Argentine press, and Argentina in general, in their place. And he did it in pure Diego fashion: he told them on live television beamed all around the world, to "suck it. and keep on sucking". In Espanol: "sigue chupando."
Sigue chupando: a movement is born
He was laughed at, mocked, and labeled a hothead crackpot for the billionth time.
World Cup 2010 Mid-Term Report Card
Name: Maradona, Diego Armando
Games played: 3
Goals scored: 7
Goals conceded: 1
Groups easily won: 1 (Group A, 2010 World Cup)
Allegedly over the hill old timers who he controversially selected over higher profile younger players who appeared to be in better form: 2 (Martin Palermo, 37. Juan Sebastian Veron, 35)
Mid-Term grade: A+++++
Madman or Genius? The jury's still out, and there will certainly be opportunities to do something incredibly stupid in the win or go home knockout stage that costs your team an excellent shot at winning the world cup, but at this point people are flocking over from the madman camp to the genius camp faster than wall street hedge fund managers switching their position on Bear Sterns in September 2008.
His personal motto for the last 6 months has now become the mantra of the Argentine team, and just might carry them all the way to the World Cup final and possibly even the promised land. After all, he's single handedly done it before with his feet, so do not doubt that he can do it with his allegedly crazy mind when at his disposal is arguably the greatest assembly of soccer talent in this World Cup, Spain & Brasil included.
In other words, welcome to The Summer Of ¡SIGUE CHUPANDO!