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Maradona offered job as Argentina coach

sports Updated: Oct 29, 2008 15:41 IST
AP
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Diego Maradona is expected to be confirmed as Argentina coach on Thursday, his 48th birthday.

Maradona and Carlos Bilardo were asked on Tuesday to lead the national team by Julio Grondona, head of the Argentine Football Association.

Maradona would be the coach and Bilardo the manager, but the pair would not confirm whether they accepted the positions after leaving the meeting with Grondona.

Although the AFA and Grondona were yet to make official statements following the meeting, Maradona was already speaking to reporters as the future coach, and local media was widely reporting he would accept the job on Thursday.

Maradona told Fox Sports that "my path is with the national team ... My path is to speak with the players, try to put together a solid group with Carlos."

"Now we're just awaiting for it to be official. The idea is to get started right away when it becomes official.

"I'll put together the team, I'll choose the players and I'm sure Carlos will take care of a ton of other things.

"For me, this only compares to the birth of my two daughters" Dalma and Giannina, added the football great.

Grondona led the search for a coach following Alfio Basile's recent resignation for personal reasons he's yet to make public. He stepped down on October 16 following a first loss to neighbor Chile in World Cup qualifying. Argentina was third in the South American race. Argentina's next match was a friendly at Scotland on November 19.

Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez was the first Argentine player to congratulate Maradona on the possible post.