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Diego Maradona asks Argentine Coach not to come back home if he loses to Nigeria

Valentine Chinyem

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Argentine legend, Diego Maradona has warned, Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina’s head coach not to return home from the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, should the Albeceleste fail to beat Nigeria and qualify for the knock out stage from Group D.

He said this while speaking with Argentine Television Telesur’s ‘De la mano del Diez’

“If he carries on like this, Sampaoli can’t come back to Argentina, Maradona said.

“There is serious trouble ahead because Nigeria have experience, they know how to counter-attack and they know how to score.”

He added that, despite the fact that, “his (Sampaoli) game-plan was a disgrace. Even though the Iceland players average 1.90m in height, we played all our corners into the air. We had no short game,”

“I don’t blame the players. I could blame the lack of work rate. But I can’t blame the players, much less Messi, who gave it all he had,” he said.

“I missed five penalties on the spin and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. I don’t think that they dropped two points because Messi missed a penalty,” added Maradona, who led Argentina to the quarter-finals in South Africa in 2010 as coach.

It will be recalled that Maradona, was part of the team that played against the Super Eagles at Nigeria’s debut at the Mundial in 1994 in USA.

More so, Argentina has not really started the World Cup well, with only a point from their 1-1 draw against Iceland and a 3-0 loss to Croatia. It will also be recalled that they threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 to Nigeria in an international friendly just before the World Cup.

Nigeria is expected to meet Argentina in their final Group D fixture, on June 26, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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