By 90Min
November 01, 2017

Diego Maradona has hit out at striker Mauro Icardi and coach Jorge Sampaoli in a rant on the issues surrounding Argentinian football.

The legendary former Albiceleste forward claimed that Icardi only found himself in the national team squad due to nepotism, and questioned the integrity of Sampaoli.

And Maradona, who led his country to World Cup success in 1986, did not hold back when offering his opinion of the Argentinian FA.

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"I remember when I was in Croatia watching the Davis Cup final, [Jorge] Sampaoli called me to talk about doing a project at Sevilla together," he told Clarin, quoted by Football Italia.

“Then once he was called to lead the national team, he didn’t even remember my name.

“I’d never have worked with those who are fake, mediocre and think they are bigger than they are. I don’t agree with him, nor with [President of the Argentinian FA Claudio] Tapia."

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He added: “I’ve been in FIFA, and I know they turn a blind eye to a lot of ugly things. I’m more Argentine than anyone, and I’m not going to go against my country.


“But they threatened me for reporting certain people, and more than one told me that they were going to kill me. I’m not afraid though.

“The AFA is less corrupt now than it was, but you can’t pay a national team coach $4.5m! We pay that to a coach who can’t guarantee he’ll make us champions of the world.

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“He [Sampaoli] brought a sorcerer to Ecuador, which is as bad as calling an injured Icardi when you leave out [Juventus striker Gonzalo] Higuain, who has always scored goals. He [Icardi] didn’t play, granted, but he was there.

“You can’t leave Kun [Sergio] Aguero out of the first list and call this Pata de lana [someone who steals his friend’s wife].

“The one with the woman who wants to get involved in football and be his agent, the one who plays ball with Maxi Lopez’s children. I know the story well.

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“She [Wanda] called [Edgardo] Bauza three times, the other [presumably Gerardi Martino] four. The Coaches themselves, or their assistants told me this.

“I’ve talked about this with [FIFA President Gianni] Infantino and I’m going to do it again, because Argentinian football is a powder keg.

“We aren’t doing things right, in the Under-15s, the Under-20s or anywhere.”

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