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MADRID: Argentina legend Diego Maradona says he has never watched the national side since he was dismissed as coach last year, and has no desire to return to manage them.
The 50-year-old was manager of Argentina at last year’s World Cup in South Africa, but was sacked after they lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarterfinals.
Last May, he was appointed coach of Dubai’s Al-Wasl of the United Arab Emirates domestic league.
“Since I left, I have never seen the Argentina team… And I think I will not see them again,” he told Spanish sports daily AS published on Saturday, when asked if he had watched the team’s recent wins over Venezuela and Nigeria.
Asked if he would like another chance to coach Argentina, he replied: “I am not looking at that, I am looking at doing something great at Al Wasl… I want to work quietly, I want to be far from those ill-tempered people.”
Since losing his job, Maradona has several times hit out at Julio Grondona, head of the Argentine federation since 1979, dubbing him “old” and “corrupt”.
Maradona’s replacement at Argentina, Sergio Batista – fellow World Cup winner in 1986 – was sacked as coach in the wake of the side’s disappointing performance at the Copa America on home soil in July.
He was replaced by Alejandro Sabella, whose team beat Venezuela 1-0 in Kolkata, India and Nigeria 3-1 in Dhaka in friendlies earlier this month.
Since coming to Al Wasl, Maradona said he has “not missed one minute of training. And that is in 54-degree (129 F) heat. But I’m not complaining, I am happy with the Arab people, with the guys that we have on the staff.”
Maradona is the greatest player in Argentina’s history, having led the country to their second World Cup title in 1986 in Mexico and a runners-up finish four years later in Italy.
He won 91 caps for his country and scored 34 goals in a career that spanned 21 years and saw him play in Argentina, Spain and Italy. (Agencies)