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Fabio Capello and Diego Maradona – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

England coach Fabio Capello and Argentina manager Diego Maradona. PHOTOS by Chris Brunskill and Ben Queenborough isiphotos.com

England coach Fabio Capello and Argentina manager Diego Maradona. PHOTOS by Chris Brunskill and Ben Queenborough isiphotos.com

By Peter Szarama

Two completely different styles, temperaments, mentality and cultures are going to compete soon in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. Both teams have created amazing soccer history in the past, and now in just a few weeks they will yet again for sure deliver, unforgettable momentum to millions watching around the world. We should be ready for a fantastic tournament of the upcoming time, where emotions run high!    

Argentina and England are both countries with big aspirations to win the trophy. They have had a lot of controversial discrepancies, even enemies, in the past, since the Falkland War and the famous Maradona’s “hand of God”, which eventually eliminated the British team from challenging the title in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. England’s coach, Fabio Capello, is a very serious, no nonsense man. For the last two years, he has built his team methodically and precisely.  He strongly believes in discipline in and out of the peach. A recent training camp in the Austrian Alps had proved it clearly. Peter Crouch’s bags had not even arrived at the teams’ hotel before coach Capello chewed him out for wearing slippers in the lobby. A dress code, however, is not the only thing that England’s players have had to deal with at Capello’s camp. Extra gym work has been added; visits by wives and girlfriends have been limited to one day a week, and the use of cell phones have been banned.  Any one who does not show up 15 minutes early for a team meeting is considered late. All of which is a sharp contrast to the Country – Club approach that England’s last coach, Sven Goran Eriksson took four years ago. “We are judged all the time, Capello doesn’t miss a thing”, Peter Crouch recently told The London Times. It is his attention to details and discipline, like ordering his players to wear oxygen masks in the Alps so they can get used to the thin air, which will make them the team to beat in South Africa this June. Team leader Wayne Rooney says, “Capello has restored the confidence of the team that has made it as far as the semifinal’s just once since winning the World Cup title in 1966. Whether any of that makes a difference, will be answered soon.

Compared to the British soccer team, team Argentina, with head coach Diego Armando Maradona, is the complete opposite. Maradona was a great player, a genius, one of the best to have ever played this game. As a coach he is unpredictable, totally inconsistent with very little couching experience. He is constantly involved in bizarre scandals, accusations, delivering cheap attentions through the media. His Argentinean squad barely made to the top 32 teams. Senior Diego was punished by FIFA for using vulgar language to the reporters after being criticized for a poor performance and his lack of coaching knowledge. He later faced another scandal when he ran over a photographer’s leg that was hospitalized and eventually released. Some of Maradona’s demands for the Pretoria hotel, where team Argentina will stay, are, wells let’s say over-the-top and a bit bizarre. White painted walls in all of the rooms, an assortment of ice cream as well as 16 different kinds of salads, readily available at all times of the day/night, and a variety of the finest red wine to be enjoyed by the players, however only one glass with dinner is allotted. Unlike Coach Capello, Maradona allows his players to engage in sex with wives and girlfriends as a way to instill the everyday life routine, however they can’t stay all night. One cigar a day is allowed as well. Another example of his strange request is his demand for a heated toilet seat in his own hotel room.  Prior to verbalizing these requests he apparently consulted them all with Argentina’s team doctors and got approved. According to them, life style during a World Cup shouldn’t be any different from everyday life. Some may say it’s a matter of opinion, culture or tradition. Some may say that all ways leads to Rome as long as you win. It’s hard to argue with that. World Cup is a long tournament; it is a soccer marathon if you will. Besides England vs. Argentina, Capello vs. Maradona, we will witness many great teams, players and coaches battle it out for the title. High level performances, skill, tactic and endurance are of high importance, but often enough the ultimate determination is which team gets touched by “THE HAND OF GOD”!!!!

Peter Szarama

What do you think about Capello, Maradona and their coaching ? welcome your comments below

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