BUENOS AIRES, June 20 ― Diego Maradona criticised the appointment of Jorge Sampaoli as Argentina coach, saying the Copa America winning manager was no better than his disappointing predecessor.
Sampaoli took over as Argentina coach earlier this month in place of Edgardo Bauza, who was sacked after recording only three wins in eight games.
The 57-year-old Sampaoli, in contrast, has led Argentina to victory in his first two games ― but that was not good enough for Maradona.
“Sampaoli doesn't know any more than Bauza,” Maradona told Argentine channel TyC yesterday.
“If he (Sampaoli) hadn't beaten us in the (2015 Copa America) final (while coaching) Chile then not even his family would know who he was.”
Maradona also vented his anger at Sampaoli's decision to leave out Manchester City's Sergio Aguero for the friendlies against Brazil and Singapore.
“It was madness leaving out Kun (Aguero),” added Maradona.
“Kun gives you much more speed, he brings electricity.”
Maradona was hurt that Sampaoli invited him to Sevilla when he was coaching the Spanish team but did not follow through in his invitation to honour the 1986 World Cup winner, who played for Sevilla near the end of his career, with a tribute game.
“Sampaoli was fake with me,” a mumbling Maradona said from his home in the United Arab Emirates, where he coaches Al-Fujairah.
“He told me they were going to give me a tribute in Seville. Then the national team came up and I never heard any more from him.” ― Reuters