Friday, October 16, 2009

No regrets from Diego the day after

OK. I've been incredibly busy and I'm still wanting to share my thoughts with all of you after Argentina sealed the ticket for South Africa.

In the meantime, here is a transcript from a 45-minute long interview Diego had with TyC Sports on the early hours of Friday (or in fact the late hours of Thursday as we all know Diego is a night-hawk rather than an early-morning songbird).

The following is the textual transcript of everything I managed to pick up (I'm proud to say it's very close to 100%) from what he said.

Get ready for some classic Diego quotes.



I don't know if the journalists are now using my comments against them to talk about that and forget about the fact that we have qualified for the World Cup.

All I know is that I won't regret what I said and I won't apologise to nobody in the media.

I've said this many times. I'm not a role model. Parents should be role models. I don't want the kids in the country to take me as an example to follow. What happened at that press conference was my way of releasing some steam.

We live many terrible things in this country. Dead people everyday. Thefts. More poor people everyday. Nobody speaks about that in the media and I think they should pay attention to those things. I think to instead speak of what MARADONA could say after the team reached the World Cup finals depicts the bad state of our journalism.

It was a way to let it all out and that's it. If they want to take that and only that, I think they are not working as they should. They are not doing a good job.

I'm sorry they are saying I'm arrogant, but I'm not going to take back anything I said. I have apologised to the ladies. To my mother and to all the Argentine and Uruguayan women that were watching. But to nobody else. Because I don't feel I have to apologise to them.

I've been preparing for this match against Uruguay for a long time and I've seen and heard how journalists that never wore shorts and they though they knew everything and they thought they only truth was their own, were criticising with bad intentions. Criticising me, MESSI, MASCHERANO...

All that really hurt me and I think that played a part in my head for me to react like that in that press conference.

It hurt me that they were saying our team can't play football when we know when things are not going the way we want them to go. Comments from people who never played football. Not even for 50 bucks. They have no moral authority to say what they say. I don't feel angry at them. I pity them.

Those former players that became a kind of pundit and go to a TV show to get 1000 Pesos (260 USD or 160 British Pounds) and for that money they go on and say things like MESSI doesn't know the lyrics to the national anthem or that some players don't want to play for Argentina.

I feel sorry for those people who could still be working in football and instead they grab a microphone and they spit on our plate.

I've used many players ever since I took over for Argentina but that's because you have to always keep searching. In finding your best team, you always have to keep trying things.

There's very little time to work before World Cup Qualifying matches and when the players arrive from Europe, you have to consider many things and pay attention to every detail. You have to give them some time to recover from the long flights. You have to see if they are coming with minor injuries or knocks and then you have little time to select the best starting eleven.

I will never take precautions before I speak. If I do that, I wouldn't be myself. I have made many mistakes in my life and I have apologised when I thought I had to. The only ones I should forever apologise to are my two daughters. Because I've been an absent father for them for many years.

Of course I'm exposed and I know my face is out there. It was my way to let it all out and I want to leave things in the past now. I won't speak about that anymore.

What my players achieved on Wednesday is way more important than anything I could have said.

The most important thing to me is that our shirt will be there in another World Cup. It's not easy to come back from three consecutive defeats. We knew we had to give our everything in these two decisive matches and that's exactly what we did.

I don't know if another manager could have survived a 6-1 defeat in Bolivia. I know I did. I found shelter in my coaching staff and my players. We showed up in the darkest hour and thank God today we are in the World Cup.

I gave my everything in every game. I never picked a player because I like them or I have a good relationship with them. I always think of what's best for our national team and if we are in the World Cup, credit should go to all the players that played a part in our campaign. The most important thing for me is our national team shirt.

I'm waiting for MESSI because I know he will go off. I know it. I've found a great striker in Higuaín.

If I could play another one of those WCQ matches we've played, it would surely be Brazil. We made mistakes. It wasn't entirely down to Brazil's game.

I have to speak to all my players. I would like to speak with MASCHERANO, VERON, HEINZE and MESSI to hear them and see if I can find out what's needed for the future.

We won the World Cup in 1986 when we became solid as a group. The entire squad. Because nobody believed in us before we went to Mexico. That's what I want now. To solidify our squad so we can galvanise against everything and everybody.

In a World Cup, you need to manage the mental aspect of your players, even more so than the physical part.

You have to be grateful in life. Martín PALERMO is a great goalscorer. If he can keep up his level of performances, he can be in the World Cup squad. I don't care about his age. All I care is about his knack for scoring and what a great person he is.

We have a friendly with Spain coming up and if we want to be great, we need to play against great teams.

Had I failed to reach the World Cup, I could have become the first victim of a fusillade in this country. But even then, I would have died on my feet. Because I have chosen to be our national team manager. Nobody told me to do it. I would have died standing proud.

I dedicate this qualification to the World Cup to our fans and to all those who live football with passion in this country.


ZiggY said...

Looks like there's a good case to sack Maradona now. Dunno if its true but read this guys:

According to this article, he might face a 5-match ban for his actions. Of course, they would be official matches, meaning starting from the World Cup games. If this is the case, then keeping Diego would mean playing without a coach on the sideline until the semi's (if they ever reach it, without a coach!)...

Well, i hope this is true... it would be the perfect reason for him to resign or get the sack.

Bostero Forever said...

Funny guys this FIFA bureaucrats.
They're going to open a disciplinary process on Diego's sayins, but they didn't open the mouth and don't care to play a whole World Cup in 1978 in a country ruled by force by murderors militars who had already killed by then, by World Cup's time, more than 20.000 people!

johnny said...

Thanks for the translation Seba. I think it is possible to dislike Maradona and at the same time love him. I understand that when asked the day after his diatribe if he had anything more to say about Toti Passman, he replied, "It's still in him". Obscene and also hilarious. I'm with Bostero Forever when it comes to FIFA's involvement. If the AFA sees fit to axe Maradona that's their business and I would hate to see any punishment coming from afar. I think he is a bad coach but I wouldn't like to see him go out like that.

Bostero Forever said...

I agree, Johnny.
I dislike him as a coach, but his diatribe far from offended me, it made me laugh. It wasn't aimed to nobody save the ones he wanted to. Even not to all journalists as a whole, just the ones who most attacked him.

johnny said...

The more I think about this I am betting that FIFA is scared to death that Diego might blow up on a much more visible stage in South Africa and embarrass them. If nothing else they will send a big cannon shot across his bow and let him know that he may be able to act up in Argentina, but not on THEIR international stage.

ZiggY said...

Here it is... the video is true:

Maradona will SURELY be punished for this... and i hope its not just a heavy fine, but that 5 match ban that is being talked about. This way he'll be dropped as coach for sure...

Anonymous said...

his comments are very funny but if only he could coach.
im a tottenham supporter as well on on the sight about 90% of spurs supporters (english) love diegos comments and want him at the w.c but they also dont think hes a good coach.

Anonymous said...

i dont know what to say guys.i hate him as a coach bt man he's really brave n moreover dont care anything.i love him as a player bt not as a coach .n yes thanks for TRANSLATION.grt job,keep it up

white n blue said...

For those who doubt Maradona and Argentina capability in SA next year, better read this article!!

Go Diego..Go Argentina...

LaTiNo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LaTiNo said...

I'm definitely not convinced about his tactical coaching, but I stand behind his words to the press. I get mad too when ridiculous comments are made about players not wanting to give it all bc they are millionairs, or because they play in Europe, or because the won too much already or because they don't know the words of the hymne! I'm a real Argentina-fanatic, and I don't know the words!
People who don't understand how top sportsmen feel and think should not be sports reporters. Everybody here, including ourselves have our 'professional' opinions about who should play and what the tactics ought to be, but is there anybody here who played football at a professional level? Anybody who is football millionaire and can testify that your hunger for titles stops when you can afford to buy a Ferrari? Anybody who would NOT give everything he had for his countries team? Anybody?

Marcelo said...

Maradona is a meglomaniac, paranoid and hypocrite. If he had concerns about the press and the individuals he should have said it to them off camera. As fans we don't deserve the complete disrespect he lauded on us. Disgraceful.