(Reuters) - Diego Maradona criticized the faltering Argentina team on Wednesday and appealed for another chance at managing the national side.
A day after they lost 4-2 to Nigeria in a friendly in Russia, Maradona, who last managed Argentina at the 2010 World Cup, hit out the current set up in a short Instagram message.
“I am angry because they have thrown away our prestige, but it’s not the fault of the lads,” he said. “I WANT TO COME BACK!!!”
Maradona, who is currently coach of United Arab Emirates side Al Fujairah, posted statistics of 11 recent Argentina managers that showed his success rate was 75 percent, greater even than that of Cesar Luis Menotti, who won the World Cup in 1978, and Carlos Bilardo, who lifted the trophy in 1986 when Maradona was at his brilliant playing best.
“Who won most??” Maradona wrote. “We draw our own conclusions.”
The former Boca Juniors and Napoli striker led Argentina to the quarter-finals in South Africa, where they were knocked out by Germany.
Current Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has had an inconsistent start to his tenure since taking charge in June, winning four of his first eight games, but only one of four competitive fixtures.
The Argentines only qualified for next year’s World Cup finals thanks to a hat-trick from Lionel Messi in their last game against Ecuador.
(This version of the story changes the host nation of the 2010 World Cup in para 6)
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Radnedge