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Maradona wants to coach Iraq at the World Cup in Brazil

Never thought I’d type that sentence.

Diego Maradona was sacked by Al Wasl in July.
Diego Maradona was sacked by Al Wasl in July.
Image: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

THE IRAQI FOOTBALL FEDERATION is meeting today to decide if they want Diego Maradona to lead them towards the 2014 World Cup.

The federation is convening in Iraq to discuss the coaching candidacy of the former Argentine footballing legend.

Football agent Hernan Tofoni, who is heading up talks with Iraq for the Argentine company World Eleven, told Reuters that Maradona would be a fine replacement for Zico after the Brazilian quit from the national post last month.

He said, “Diego is really enthused and phones us every day. He doesn’t just want to coach (Iraq) for the next six months but long term.

“He is excited by the fact that it’s a challenge and that he’d be going to replace Zico.”

First Oman, then the world

Maradona is currently acting as a consultant for United Arab Emirates side Al Wasl but he was relieved of his coaching role with the club in July.

Iraq have a mighty task ahead of them if they are to qualify for the finals in Brazil.

The team, who have been to only one World Cup [in 1986], are eight points adrift of Japan in Group B of Asian World Cup qualifiers.

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They are equal on five points with Australia, who have a game in hand, and Oman.

Maradona coached Argentina from 2008 until 2010 and led his country in the 2010 World Cup.

The Argentines topped their group and eliminated Mexico in the second round but were soundly beaten by Germany, 4-0, in the quarter final.

During his illustrious playing career, Diego Armando Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina, scoring 34 goals and helping the team win the World Cup in 1986.

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Patrick McCarry

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