Is Diego Maradona the worst coach ever? The question comes to mind following his sacking as Al Wasl coach. He coached the United Arab Emirates' side for 14 months with no success coming his way.
This is not the first time that the great Argentine has been meted out that kind of treatment in his coaching career. As a player he was one of a kind, winning the 1986 World Cup for his team single-handedly. He enjoys the status of a god in the football-mad country. However, his stint as a coach has been disastrous so far.
Let's look at his managerial career. Following his retirement after the 1992 World Cup, he coached Argentina's Textil Mandiyu in 1994 but little success came his way. The very next year he coached Racing Club but again failed to make an impact. However, when he was named the Argentina coach following the resignation of Alfio Basile in 2008, there was a sense of euphoria in the Argentine public. They really had high hopes of him.
After getting off to a good start, the team lost many matches in succession in the World Cup qualifiers, earning Maradona a lot of criticism as the country feared missing out on a World Cup berth in South Africa in 2010. The team, however, managed to qualify and that gave Maradona a chance to get his own back on the media.
He abused the media following Argentina securing the qualification. "Suck it and keep on sucking it." The result was a two-month ban by FIFA. Maradona's only hope was a good show in the World Cup but the team played below par to exit the tournament in the quarter-finals following a crushing 4-0 defeat by Germany. It wasn't long before he was eased out from his post.
As Al Wasl coach, Maradona made headlines in March this year when he confronted opposition fans. During his team's defeat by Al Shabab, he is understood to have climbed up into the stands to protect his wife after fans allegedly started abusing players' wives and girlfriends.
Clearly, temperament has been an issue with arguably the greatest footballer. And that's not a good thing for a coach. As to whether he is the worst coach, decided for yourself.