As you’ve probably read elsewhere, Argentina national coach Diego Maradona capped off a press conference Wednesday announcing his 2010 World Cup squad by driving over a cameraman’s foot. Sensational as said incident surely was, The Guardian’s Paul Doyle and Paolo Bandini found it slightly less notable than Maradona’s choices for the national team.
The tormented former coke-fiend to whom Argentina cleverly chose to entrust the management of the national football team has selected a squad so contrary that it might just pitch up at a squash tournament in North Korea next week rather than next month’s global football showpiece in South Africa. Granted, when trimming his troupe from 30 to 23 players Maradona finally decided to omit Newcastle funnyman Fabricio Coloccini, but he also left out warriors that every other country would kill to have in their ranks “ including Big Cup finalists Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, Marseille magician Lucho Gonzalez and magnificently-bearded Lyon hitman Lisandro “Left Eye” Lopez. And why? Because a curious obsession with archaeology has convinced him that he must travel with recently excavated artefacts such as Martin Palermo and Juan Seba Veron.
Then again, El Diego is a footballing deity so maybe he could explain to mere mortals why this makes sense? At least that’s what Argentinian journalists were hoping when they turned up for a press conference last night. But the manager’s answers were not particularly illuminating. He did, however, make a noteworthy declaration on his way out of the get-together “ after his car ran over a cameraman’s foot, he stopped the vehicle, rolled down the window and hollered: “What an a$$hole you are! Man, how can you put your leg there where it can get run over?”