Will Maradona Lead Argentina To World Cup Glory?
With the World Cup less than 100 days away, every man and his dog are having their say on potential winners. So here is mine: Argentina.
A surprising choice? Yes.
A ludicrous choice? Some people may think so when you consider the strength of Spain and Brazil.
But something tells me that after the struggle they endured in qualifying, the hard part, in retrospect, has been done.
They have, in Coach Diego Maradona, a true footballing maverick who has no real coaching skills and will always back up his warped managerial methods no matter how crazy.
Some people may see this as a negative, but on a stage such as the World Cup, he may prove to be the inspiration. Big names perform on the biggest stage, and Maradona, like him or not, is a big name.
Take a look at the squad too; it is filled to the brim with world-class talent—reigning World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's free-scoring Gonzalo Higuain, and the highly rated Sergio Aguero to name but a few.
If there is a better front three in the world, I've yet to come across it.
Higuain could prove the pivotal player in this Argentine side. A bigger option than Carlos Tevez, it may allow Messi and Aguero to play off him. Or even free Tevez up to play in his preferred role, behind the striker.
The defence may not be the strongest, but they do have two solid centre backs in Walter Samuel and Martin Demichelis. Both are hugely experienced campaigners in Europe.
With Javier Mascherano and possibly Juan Veron patrolling the area in front of the back four, Argentina does have an extra safety option.
It also allows the attack-minded Maradona to have four forwards on the pitch if he played a combination like Di Maria, Messi, Tevez, and Aguero or Higuain.
They're also in a favourable group along with Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece. You would expect them to prevail as the winners of the group, thus setting up a second round tie with possibly Uruguay or Mexico.
So a passage to the quarterfinals isn't the most testing. From then on it will be up to the coach and his array of talented forwards to progress further.
There is just something about Diego Maradona and the World Cup that is magical. So his divine input you feel will be critical, either with a suicidal tactical decision costing them, or his inspirational manner powering Argentina to a third World Cup victory.
Stranger things have happened.
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