7 June 2010
Of the 32 teams competing at the World Cup Argentina might be the most interesting to follow. That's mainly down to the team's coach, Diego Maradona.
Click to hear the report:
The media circus which follows Diego Maradona is never far from a juicy story. This is a man whose trickery on the football field devastated opponents. But his playing career was blighted by doping bans and the infamous 'hand of God' goal against England in a World Cup quarter-final.
After he retired Maradona suffered from drug addiction, ill health and weight gain. He became coach of Argentina with virtually no managerial experience. In his 19 months in charge he's tried out more than a hundred different players. An arduous qualifying campaign included a 6-1 defeat in Bolivia.
When Argentina beat Uruguay to eventually seal their place in South Africa Maradona let fly a stream of profanities against his critics on live television. He received another ban which meant he couldn't attend the World Cup draw.
Since then he was admitted to hospital after being bitten in the face by his pet dog. On his way to announce his World Cup squad, the car he was driving ran over a photographer. And he's promised to run naked through the centre of Buenos Aires if Argentina win the World Cup. It might not happen, but following Argentina shouldn't be boring.
Alex Capstick, BBC News
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- media circus
a negative term for a lot of activity and interest from newspapers, magazines, radio and television caused by an event or situation
- a juicy story
a story that's interesting because it is shocking or personal
- devastated opponents
humiliated footballers in other teams
- blighted by doping bans
interrupted by periods of time when he wasn't allowed to play football because he had been found to be using drugs
- the infamous 'hand of God' goal
a well known incident when Maradona illegally used his hand to score a goal. Maradona said the goal was scored 'a little bit by the hand of God'.
- an arduous qualifying campaign
a very difficult series of matches that are played to decide which teams can take part in the World Cup finals
- let fly a stream of profanities
said a lot of rude words in an angry way
- ran over
hit and injured