Friday, July 30, 2010

El Diego Goes Gentle Into That Good Night

Diego Maradona was not retained as manager of Argentina's national football team this week, so when he called a presser (at the Ezeiza Holiday Inn of all places), I was looking forward to a truly epic parting shot. After all, this is the man who, among other things, told all of his doubters in Argentina to "Suck it. And keep on sucking" when Argentina qualified for World Cup 2010, and who then ran over a cameraman's leg and then told said cameraman he was an asshole for putting his leg under El Diego's car.

So when he calmly read a prepared statement where he said that the men who run Argentine football lied to him and betrayed him, then calmly left without taking questions, you can imagine my disappointment. Admittedly the bar has been set ridiculously high, but this was going out with a whimper for the one and only El Diego.

His legacy and tenure will be debated for years to come, but for me his legacy will be that at age 49 he still seemed like one of the first people in the world to learn how to bend the infamous Jabulani ball, and perhaps even gave the cheat code to the players at the World Cup who were clearly baffled by it in the first week of the competition.

49 year old shows the young bucks how Jabulani is tamed

One thing is for sure: the international soccer scene just got a hell of a lot less interesting and fun. Long live El Diego the insane genius manager.

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