Soccer

Maradona turns 50, 'mourns'

2010-10-30 15:57
Diego Maradona (AP)

Buenos Aires - Diego Maradona turned 50 on Saturday with little fanfare, calling it the "saddest birthday of my life."

Despite some pressure from his family, the former Argentina coach said he intended to spend the day quietly at his home in the Buenos Aires suburb of Ezeiza.

It has been a difficult year for the famous No. 10, who led Argentina into the World Cup only to be ousted by Germany in a humiliating 4-0 loss in the quarter-finals. The loss led the Argentina Football Association to drop him as coach. Interim coach Sergio Batista - Maradona's team-mate on the Argentina's World-Cup-winning team in 1986 - is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday as Maradona's replacement.

"It is the saddest birthday of my life," Maradona said in an interview with the sports daily Ole. "One that I don't wish to celebrate."

It has been three months since the AFA declined to renew Maradona's contract. The AFA was willing to have Maradona back, but not most of his assistants. Maradona refused to budge, and the AFA let him go.

"The best gift would have been (continuing with) the national team," Maradona said. "When we were knocked out of the World Cup I began my mourning period."

Since being released, Maradona has recanted and said he might be willing to return without his assistants. The plea has fallen on deaf ears.

Similar to his playing career, his almost-two-year stint as coach had many ups and downs.

Argentina won 18 of 24 games with Maradona as coach. But several of the losses were the worst in history. One was a 6-1 hammering by Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier and the other was the lopsided loss to Germany in South Africa.

Maradona has made few appearances since the World Cup.

The latest was Thursday when he attended the funeral at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires for former president Nestor Kirchner.

Read more on:    diego maradona
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them

Now is the time to kick those excuses right out the door!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Where should Rivaldo Coetzee play his soccer next season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.