Football

Maradona set for Hampden watching role

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Diego Maradona is on the brink of taking over as Argentina coach but may not be in charge when the team play Scotland next month.

Maradona, who turns 48 on Thursday, has revealed he is on the verge of accepting the job after meeting with Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona. Under current plans the former Barcelona and Napoli forward will not lead the side when they visit Scotland for their friendly at Hampden Park on Wednesday, November 19, although he is due to be at the match.

The 1986 World Cup winner said: "My job will be watching the players and picking up the ones who are in the best form."

Argentina have been without a coach since Alfio Basile stepped down for personal reasons on October 16.

Maradona has little coaching experience, having been in charge of Deportivo Mandiyu for two months in 1994 and Racing Club for four months in 1995.

But he is likely to be able to call on the experience of former Argentina coach Carlos Bilardo, the boss of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup teams, who has been lined up as technical director to the national team.

AFA secretary Luis Segura said: "The appointment will be official when the AFA's committee approves it. And the next meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. I believe there will not be any more meetings with the other candidates."

Earlier, Maradona told Radio La Red: "My first job will be watching the players. I'll try to talk to them one by one and then work at the training camp in Ezeiza with them.

"I arrived from Georgia at 10am and three hours later I was having a shower to meet Julio. As I was going to the meeting, I thought it was some kind of hidden camera (show).

"The direction Julio wants for the national team is the same Bilardo and I have. As soon as it (the appointment) is confirmed, I will start working, but I can say I am very proud."

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