Diego lashes out at Pele and Platini
Argentina coach Diego Maradona has used a press conference on the eve of Argentina's World Cup tie with South Korea to attack Pele and Michel Platini, his contemporaries in the pantheon of football greats.
Maradona has never been one to avoid conflict and his candid assessment of the two men will raise eyebrows once more, particularly given the outburst comes just 24 hours before a game that could secure Argentina's place in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Pele, who has a long-standing rivalry with his only contender for the title of the greatest footballer of all time, claimed Maradona only took the Argentina job for the money. The 1986 World Cup winner responded by claiming Pele should "go back to the museum".
Maradona then turned his attentions to UEFA president and former France star Michel Platini who had reportedly questioned his coaching credentials.
"Platini? I'm not surprised, I've always had a very distant relationship with him," Maradona said. "It's always just hello and goodbye, nothing more than that. We all know how the French are, and Platini is French, and he believes he is better than rest."
Argentina won their opening game 1-0 against Nigeria to undermine suggestions that the country would struggle with the enigmatic Maradona at the helm. While the coach is enjoying the experience of coaching at the World Cup, he could not resist a dig at the Jabulani ball, and a final word for Pele and Platini.
"I'm having a wonderful time, to me a World Cup is something that's quite amazing," Maradona said. "I'm not worried by the fact there aren't many goals, I'm sure there will be goals, I'm sure the players will see to that.
"Of course in the first matches you are more careful, perhaps more careful than you should be. And, of course, there's the ball.
"I don't want to go into the ball again because everyone is talking about it, but it is important and it does play a part and I would ask Pele and Platini to go out there and play with the ball and take a closer look at it to see if it's a good one or bad one, and to stop talking rubbish about me."