Venezuela eager for Maradona to coach national team
Venezuelan media on Wednesday welcomed the news that Argentina’s former star footballer Diego Maradona might coach their national team.
Maradona announced on Tuesday he was set to discuss the possibility with President Nicolas Maduro on July 13, following the end of the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
News reports said that Maradona, who is being considered for the job left vacant since former coach Cesar Farias resigned in November, said he’d be pleased to take on the task.
Maradona, who is reporting on the World Cup from Brazil for the Venezuelan-based Telesur news network, said on his show Tuesday: “I have to talk with Nicolas Maduro when I go to Venezuela after the World Cup.”
On the agenda would be the lineup, said Maradona, adding, “I’m looking for serious (players) that can give Venezuelan football confidence.”
His remarks sparked a flurry of speculation in newspapers, on TV and online about the possibility of his taking over as coach of “La Vinotinto,” as the team is known.
In an interview with sports website Lavinotinto.com, Maradona said the World Cup “was missing Venezuela.”
Asked whether he would coach the team, Maradona replied, “Why not?”, adding one of his dreams would be to “one day (qualify) Venezuela for the World Cup.”
Other media outlets, such as YKKE World Radio, noted other names have already been proposed for the coaching position, including Noel Sanvicente, who plays for Barinas state team Zamora.
One football fan supported Sanvicente on his Facebook page Vinotinto Football and more, saying “this guy has coached more than 10 Libertadores Cups, with 15 victories” against some of the strongest teams in the Americas, such as Brazil and Argentina.
One Twitter user responded to an article in the daily Ultimas Noticias by asking “How many footballers in the world would like to just meet Maradona? How many would like Maradona to be their coach?” Hopefully, it will happen for the good of Venezuelan football, he added.
Vinotinto.com, meanwhile, reported the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) issued a press release saying it was not in its plans to hire Maradona for the coaching job.
The name of the coach will be decided and announced after the World Cup, the FVF said, according to the website.