Diego Maradona: Top 10 Possible Destinations for the World Cup Legend
Rumors have recently started circulating that Diego Maradona is interested in managing in the Premier League and that there may be some interest from some clubs. Granted, the source of those rumors is unclear. It may have been Maradona himself creating the rumors. I wouldn't put it past him. With Maradona, anything is possible.
Some critics, like former Spurs boss Ossie Ardiles, have already come out and said that Maradona would struggle at the helm of a Premier League club.
Maradona has had limited managerial experience. In 1994 and 1995 he managed Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club in Argentina. His combined record with those two clubs was 3-12-8. Not too impressive.
His only other coaching stint came last year as Argentina's manager for the World Cup. Maradona fared much better with a record of 14-5. Opponents however argued that he was more of a cheerleader than a manager and that when Argentina was faced with a legitimate opponent, like Germany, Maradona was unable to make tactical adjustments and was ultimately out-coached.
Maradona resigned after the World Cup admit plenty of drama and controversy. Which is par for the course for most everything Maradona does.
While it remains to be determined if Maradona is a legitimate manager or just a cheerleader, plenty of clubs are failing and need to change managers and their locker room atmosphere.
Why not hire Maradona? If he fails, the club can just release him at the end of the season.
In the meantime he will create buzz and news for the club. Because love him or hate him, Maradona always provides drama and gives fans plenty to talk about.
So who knows if any clubs are actually interested in Maradona. But let's look at 10 of the possible managerial destinations, inside and outside the Premier League, for the man with a hand from God.
Don't you have to include Manchester City in every transfer/rumor list?
Granted, this is somewhat of a stretch. If Maradona received a managerial position in the Premier League, it is doubtful his first opportunity would be with a contender.
However, Man City's owners do love being in the headlines and making their presence known. If City begins to falter and falls out of position in the top 4 and a change is made, why not Maradona? It would likely make Tevez happy.
Plus, City has the talent, they just need to put it all together. Maybe they don't need a tactician that can make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Maybe all they need is just a cheerleader on the sideline that can motivate and inspire the already talented players to perform well together.
Iranian National Team
Before any of the Premier League rumors surfaced, Iran was the popular rumor. There was talk of Maradona heading to the Middle East in order to coach the Iranian National Team.
It is unclear if Maradona was ever legitimately considered or if everything was just baseless rumors.
The latest report coming out of Iran is that they are going to pursue Sven Goran Eriksson. Whatever they are planning for the national team, no decision and hire has been made which means Maradona is still in the running.
Iran probably wouldn't be the best destination for Maradona. He would bring attention to a country that usually doesn't make headlines in the football world - that is unless the headline deals with how badly they lost.
Maradona would likely thrive in a situation that didn't require so much rebuilding or inexperienced talent. Iran will be a difficult situation and is probably better suited for a coach with more experience than Maradona - like Eriksson.
At the moment there isn't necessarily any indication that Wigan is looking for a new manager, but they are sitting in the relegation zone. If their situation doesn't improve, Roberto Martinez could get sacked.
Would they be willing to bring on Maradona? Sure. Especially if they make a change before the season is over. They could bring Maradona on for a few weeks to see how he does and if he is able to connect with the players and deserves a permanent position.
West Ham United
West Ham's current manager Avram Grant is already on life support when it comes to the security of his job.
He wasn't sacked this past week but reports seem to indicate that he could be fired any day. He will likely be sacked after West Ham's next loss.
It doesn't appear that Maradona's name is within the discussion of possible replacements. However, any opening is a possibility at the moment.
It doesn't appear that Mick McCarthy is on the verge of getting fired. However, the Wolves finished at 15th last season and are currently only one place out of the relegation zone this season.
While the owners haven't said that McCarthy is going to get fired, that doesn't mean they aren't expecting results and improvement.
McCarthy may be safe for now, but if the Wolves don't improve and stay near the relegation zone, a new manager may be sought...enter Diego.
Chinese National Team
Rumors started swirling about Maradona coaching China after he visited the country. Spokespeople have insisted that the visit was purely related to charity work.
Whatever the alleged purpose, Maradona would be the ideal hire for China. Maradona might not be the best hire for China's needs, but China just wants to be recognized on the world stage. They were embarrassed at the last World Cup.
Maradona would be a great hire as he would immediately draw attention to the country. Plus, he would undoubtedly improve the national team as they couldn't get much worse. China would surely enjoy the satisfaction of having arguably the greatest soccer player ever as their manager.
China surely wants to be the best, but until they can develop their players, they would surely be interested in having one of the best players of all time as their manager.
This move may not happen this season, but could in the future.
Alex McLeish almost lost his job a couple seasons ago when Birmingham was relegated. He was able to save his job by getting Birmingham back into the Premier League after only one season in the Championship.
Birmingham is sitting just outside the relegation zone this season and it is unlikely the ownership would be as kind to McLeish if Birmingham was relegated or spent the whole season flirting with relegation.
Where to turn? To Argentina. Birmingham has a quality squad and with Maradona at the helm, they could finally make some waves.
First of all, the MLS is never going to earn respect from the major European leagues as long as they are including mascots in their team photos.
Aside from that, Maradona in the US actually seems like a great fit. The MLS is always looking to draw attention, especially when that means bringing a marquee player or name to the league.
The Chivas finished in last place last season. Why not take a gamble on Maradona? Especially since everyone wins in this situation.
Maradona gets the chance to coach and gain more experience. If he succeeds, it will only bolster his resume and help him get across the pond to a bigger club and into the Premier League.
This would also be a great move for the MLS as Maradona would drive ticket sales and create headlines. He may even have success as a manager. Regardless he sparks interest and he's guaranteed to do a couple things each season that would make highlights on Sportscenter.
Any news that gets the MLS on Sportscenter and draws attention from the American media is a good thing. Maradona would do just that.
Make the move Chivas. You can't get any worse than you were last season.
Maradona has said that he would love to return to the Serie A to coach Napoli. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise since he spent many of his glory years at Napoli and helped Napoli to their only titles.
However, Napoli is currently having a great season and sitting in second place in the Serie A. So they aren't in the market for a coach at the moment.
But why not a move to the Serie A? If Maradona can't return to coach his former team, he would surely at least like to return to the league. He would get to return to all of the stadiums and oppose all of the teams he played against while with Napoli.
There are plenty of teams like Catania that are struggling to stay afloat in the Serie A. Why not bring on Maradona?
Catania has spent many years in Serie B. If they find themselves headed in that direction again, they should bring on Maradona to try him out for a few weeks. He may save their season and dig them out of relegation. He will at least sell tickets and attract attention from opposing clubs.
Blackburn is a legitimate candidate for Maradona. Granted, interim manager Steve Kean was recently informed that he will be the manager through the end of the season.
However, the club owners did confirm that they talked to Maradona after firing Sam Allardyce last month. So even though the manager position appears to be filled for this season, Blackburn is (or at least was) legitimately interested in Maradona.
If Blackburn has a lackluster finish and the owners decide to let Kean go, don't be surprised if Maradona gets an interview.
Most of the current rumors link Maradona to Fulham since Maradona recently attended a game between Fulham and Manchester City.
Again, the source of these managing rumors is always uncertain. It could very well be someone from Maradona's camp.
However Fulham is struggling and they need a change. Maradona may be the perfect experiment for the club.
The question of course lingers as to how well Maradona could actually manage a team. English fans know that Maradona can play.
But even if he can't manage, he will at least change the atmosphere for the club which may be all that Fulham needs to pull themselves out of their poor play.
Fulham is struggling and they need something. Unless they are planning on bringing back Hodgson, don't be surprised to see El Pibe roaming the Fulham sidelines.