Maradona: “Julio Grondona lied to me. Carlos Bilardo betrayed me.”

The almost two-year management reign of Diego Armando Maradona ended swiftly on Tuesday night in Buenos Aires. Despite providing fans and enemies alike with an entertaining brand of football, unexpected results and a unique management style that favored hugs over tactics, Maradona could not escape the sack. According to Clarin from Buenos Aires, the Executive Committee of the Argentinean Football Association (AFA) rendered a unanimous decision: Adios to Mr. Maradona but thanks for the memories.

Announcement by AFA Spokesman, Cherquis Bialo

Lo que tengo que informar en el nombre de la AFA es que el presidente dio cuenta a los miembros sobre lo conversado con el señor Diego Armando Maradaona, expuso los puntos salientes de su larga conversación de ayer y después de que el presidente hubo de haber rendido cuenta sobre la conversado, el Comité Ejecutivo con el pleno de sus miembros y por unanimidad ha resuelto no renovar el contrato con el señor Diego Armando Maradona en su caracter de director técnico jefe. Termina aquí una primera etapa vincular con el señor Maradona, que siempre tendrá abiertas las puertas de esta casa“.

“I have to inform you on behalf of the AFA that the President (Julio Grondona) discussed the key points with the FA members over his long conversation yesterday (Monday) with Mr. Diego Armando Maradona, and afterward the President had to take into account the discussion. The Executive Committee in its entirety has decided not to renew the contract of Mr. Maradona in his position of head coach. The first half (he used a football term) of Mr. Maradona stops here but the doors will always be open to him.”

Diego Maradona was the photo opportunity of the 2010 World Cup

Diego Maradona was the photo opportunity of the 2010 World Cup

Además, Bialo confirmó que:

La lista de jugadores para el partido contra Irlanda (el 11 de agosto) fue confeccionada por Diego Maradona.”

Aunque el equipo:

Será dirigido por Sergio Batista. A Maradona se lo estamos comunicando por esta vía“.

Translation:

Moreover, Bialo confirmed that:

“The list of players for the friendly against the Republic of Ireland on 11 August was put together by Diego Maradona.”

Even if:

Sergio Batista will manage that game. We have communicated it in this manner to Maradona.”

Diego Maradona Holds No Punches

On Wednesday night from a restaurant, El Mangrullo, Maradona gave his side of the story in a prepared statement.

Grondona me mintió, Bilardo me traicionó. Sabiendo que íbamos a tener más tiempo para trabajar, todo mi equipo y yo estábamos para seguir, que quede bien claro“.

“Grondona lied to me. (Carlos) Bilardo betrayed me. Knowing that we were going to have more time to work, all of my team and I were going to continue. That was made very clear.”

The 4-0 humiliation by Germany in the quarterfinals sealed his fate

The 4-0 humiliation by Germany in the quarterfinals sealed his fate

Grondona, en el vestuario, después del partido con Alemania, me dijo que estaba contento con el trabajo realizado y que quería que siguiera. El lunes me reuní con él y me dijo que quería que siguiera, pero que siete personas de mi cuerpo técnico no debían continuar. Cuando me dice esto me estaba diciendo que no quería que siguiera”… Yo defiendo a toda mi gente. Y no voy a cambiar porque tengo valores y códigos que no tienen ellos“.

“Julio Grondona, in the dressing room, after the game with Germany, told me that he was pleased with the work put in and that he wanted me to continue. On Monday, I met with him and he told me that he would like me to stay on but that seven persons in my back room staff could not continue. When he told me this he was telling me that he didn’t want me to continue… I backed all of my people. And I’m not going to change because I have values and codes that they don’t have.”

Translators’ Note:

Maradona first said that Grondona wanted him to stay on and then contradicted that statement when told that seven of his staff had to be sacked. I translated his comments verbatim.

Former teammate and U-20 boss, Sergio Batista, will be the interim manager

Former teammate and U-20 boss, Sergio Batista, will be the interim manager

Cuando estábamos de luto, Bilardo trabajaba en las sombras para echarme“.

Por último, le dejó un mensaje al próximo DT que asuma en el cargo, más allá del interinato de Batista:

Agarre quien agarre, que sepa que la traición está a la vuelta de la esquina“.

“When we were gutted (after Germany), Carlos Bilardo was working in the background to sack me.”

Finally, he left a message to the next head coach that will take over after Sergio Batista on an interim basis:

“Be careful. Knowing that betrayal is just down the corner.”

Spanish language source: Clarin.com, 27-28 July 2010.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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4 Comments

  1. Ahmed Bilal 29 July, 2010
  2. BD Condell 29 July, 2010
  3. World Football Commentaries by Steve Amoia 29 July, 2010
  4. Ahmed Bilal 29 July, 2010