Diego Maradona, one of the greatest football players of all time and former manager of the Argentina national team, said in an interview with the magazine Gente that he would "die" to manage Boca Juniors. The Buenos Aires club is one of the most famous clubs in Argentina and is where Maradona starred before moving onto a sensational club career in Europe and winning a pair of World Cups for Argentina.
Maradona's desire to manage Boca Juniors comes five months after he was released from his duties as coach of the Argentina national team. Maradona led the team to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup, where Argentina lost to Germany, and along with his playing career seems like a natural choice to manage a big Argentinean club, but his time in the football spotlight has also been marred by curious statements, a battle with drug and alcohol addiction and his short stint managing Argentina remains Maradona's only significant managing experience.
More than anything, the biggest obstacle to Maradona becoming the manger at Boca Juniors is the rocky relationship between he and the club's star player, Juan Roman Riquelme. As Argentina manager, Maradona stated that Riquelme was not playing well enough to play for the national team, which Riquelme did not take well and responded by retiring from the national team.
"As long as Maradona is coach I will not return to the national side – we are not on the same wavelength.It’s clear we cannot work together," Riquelme said. "I have principles and they are not those of the coach."
With the rift between Riquelme and Maradona, it is hard to envision Boca Juniors bringing Maradona on to manage, but Riquelme said last week that he would go on just fine if the club did hire Maradona to manage.
"The club president is the one who decides, and if he decides it's Maradona then he'll do his job as coach and I'll do mine as a player," Riquelme stated.
That is hardly enthusiastic support for Maradona on Riquelme's part, but he has opened the door. if Maradona does want the Boca Juniors job as badly as he says, he will have to work to repair his relationship with Riquelme. Doing so will not be easy, but it could put Maradona back in the soccer spotlight as manager of one of the world's biggest clubs.