Diego Maradona is close to becoming the head coach of Iraq’s national soccer team, Reuters’ Luis Ampuero reported on Thursday, citing Argentine agent Hernan Tofoni.
”Diego is really enthused and phones us every day. He doesn’t just want to coach (Iraq) for the next six months but long term,” said Tofoni, who is heading up talks with Iraq for the Argentine company World Eleven.
“He is excited by the fact that it’s a challenge and that he’d be going to replace Zico,” added Tofoni, referring to the Brazil great who quit as Iraq’s coach last month.
Tofoni said that Maradona wants to coach Iraq long enough to take it to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. One of the all-time great Argentinian soccer players, Maradona became Argentina’s national team coach in 2008. He led the team to a 2010 World Cup quarterfinal appearance, where it was routed, 4-0, by Germany.
Iraq is third in Group B in the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.