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Maradona Living Dream

  • FIFA.com, Monday, August 10, 2009 4 PM
In part one of a rare but extensive and forthright FIFA.com interview with the Argentine living legend, Diego Maradona opens up about a host of topics, from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach La Albiceleste ("I've been through some difficult times but I managed to pull myself together, and here I am in charge of the Argentina team. It's a dream come true.") to more light-hearted matters like the inability to get in the ear of his star player ("I tried to call him, but it's easier talking to Obama than Lio [Messi]") and showing Fidel Castro how to take penalty kicks.

Acknowledging the difficulty of the task at hand, Maradona admits, "It's hard. I enjoyed things more when I was playing, but I'm making sure I fulfill my responsibilities," adding that while the honeymoon was great, "now I have to start getting some things through to those 25 little heads." Addressing the busy schedules of his biggest stars, he hopes that he'll "have them all together for 20 days before the World Cup and that's when we'll lay the groundwork to give ourselves the best possible chance of becoming world champions."

On his controversial life and cheating of death, he talks of his lowest lows ("I was at the bottom of the sea and my daughters pulled me out. I can get up every day now and that's an achievement") to his highest highs ("Seeing my grandson is like touching the sky. Everything else pales in comparison.") Although perhaps not the best person to be passing out advice on how to live, he can speak from experience in passing along to Argentina's best "that 30 days of sacrifice just to kiss that cup is nothing in a man's life."

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