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Maradona urged to stay on the job

sports Updated: Jul 07, 2010 00:40 IST

One of Diego Maradona's assistants wants him to stay, and a top Argentine football official said the job is his despite the team's devastating 4-0 loss against Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals.

"Knowing Diego, it is difficult for me to think he wants to step down after failing in his objective to win the Cup," assistant coach Alejandro Mancuso said in a radio interview on Monday. "We can't throw away all the good work we've done."

Mancuso added that the coaching staff also wanted Maradona to continue.

Maradona has not made his plans clear following Argentina's second straight loss to Germany in a World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, but talked of "the end of a cycle" when the squad returned home from South Africa.

Cronica newspaper on Monday quoted Maradona as saying, "I gave all I had. Now I want to enjoy my family. Don't worry, I'm not depressed."

Argentine Football Association senior official Luis Segura said Maradona's contract has a clause that triggers an automatic extension through to the Copa America, which Argentina hosts next year.

"The one who will have to decide to continue or not is Maradona," Segura said in an interview.

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez offered encouragement while speaking on Monday in Buenos Aires.

"Bear up Maradona, the team and also bear up Argentina," Fernandez said. "No Argentine has ever given so much joy on the field as Diego Armando Maradona."

Fernandez also invited the team to the Casa Rosada, which is vaguely equivalent to the White House in the United States.

"We are proud of what they did and we are finished crying because we've begun to prepare for 2014," she said.

Maradona will have to make his decision known in a meeting with AFA president Julio Grondona, who appointed Maradona to the job in October 2008. Grondona is reported to be in South Africa and it is not clear when the meeting will take place.