Argentina coach Diego Maradona reportedly refused to take calls from his nation’s President as he was too upset to talk.
The 1986 World Cup winner is back home in Buenos Aires following his side’s early exit from South Africa, but has been warmly welcomed despite the team’s quarter final defeat to Germany.
President Cristina Kirchner revealed that she extended an invite to Maradona and the team to visit the Casada Rosada presidential palace on their return, but was told the players felt undeserving of such an honour.
“You know that this president shows her true colours to the people in the difficult moments and not just the good ones,” Kirchner told a crowd in the capital. “And I invited our squad to come to the Casa Rosada. The players refused because they felt they did not deserve such an accolade but I believe they are wrong because they all deserved it and I will wait for them.”
The President also revealed that Maradona was unable to take her calls after the quarter final match as the 49-year-old coach was overcome with emotion.
“I called him after his press conference on Saturday but he was not able to talk because he was crying,” she said. “I offer my support because nobody has ever given as much pleasure on the pitch as Diego Armando Maradona.”
Maradona has hinted that he will step down from his post as national team coach in the wake of the World Cup defeat, but no official announcement of his departure has yet been made.
However, the President of the Argentinean Football Association, Julio Humberto Grondona, has stated that Maradona will not be asked to step down by the AFA.
“The decision depends on Maradona, he still has a contract with us,” he said. “He is the only person in the country that can do whatever he wants.