AFP, Friday, June 26, 2009 1:45 PM
Reports out of Buenos Aires indicate Diego Maradona will earn $1.2 million dollars for his first year (November 2008 to October 2009) at the helm of the Argentine national team. Maradona, who had been
working without a contract, is thus making more than twice as much as his predecessors, Daniel Passarella, Marcelo Bielsa, Jose Pekerman and Alfio Basile, who were all paid between 40 and 50,000
dollars a month.
Although the team has had mixed results under Maradona -- it slipped to fourth place in the South American qualifying standiings for the 2010 World Cup -- the Argentine
federation defended the high salary by pointing out that his celebrity appeal has drawn big crowds for friendly games and benefited sponsors.
The top for finishers in South America qualify
directly for South Africa 2010; the fifth-place finishers plays off with Concacaf's fourth-place finisher.
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