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Sunday, July 4, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: July 5, 3:42 PM UK
Heinze hopes for Maradona stay

Soccernet staff

Gabriel Heinze hopes Diego Maradona decides to remain in charge of Argentina after the coach dropped a heavy hint that he will resign from his post following the country's World Cup exit.

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Argentina's 4-0 defeat to Germany in Saturday's quarter-final led a downcast Maradona to state in his post-match press conference that, "I may leave tomorrow [Sunday]".

His time in charge of the national side has been predictably eventful, but after struggling to achieve qualification for the finals in South Africa, Argentina opened their campaign with four consecutive victories before grinding to a halt at the feet of Germany.

Despite the comprehensive nature of the defeat, Heinze hopes that the national icon will avoid making any kneejerk reactions and will instead decide that his immediate future continues to lie with the Albiceleste.

"Now is not the time to make these decisions," Heinze said. "Surely it would be better to wait until the emotion has cooled. Maradona has worked very well and it would be great for him to continue."

Argentina topped Group B with three victories and then impressed when beating Mexico 3-1 in the second round, but Joachim Low's vibrant Germany side took them apart in Cape Town with Miroslav Klose claiming a brace and Thomas Muller and Arne Friedrich also getting on the scoresheet.

The manner of defeat raised questions as to whether Argentina would have benefitted from Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, who were not included in the squad, or Diego Milito, who remained sat on the bench despite his prolific season at Inter Milan.

"I will defend the selection and I will defend this group," Heinze said. "We can take some positive things from our performances in South Africa. But as always results are the most important thing and we screwed up."

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