Oh boy… Diego Maradona wants to succeed Rafa Benitez at Napoli


The Argentine legend is keen on a return to his beloved Naples club

Diego Maradona has set his sights on making a triumphant return to former club Napoli, with the Argentine today outlining his desire to one day replace current manager Rafa Benitez.

The outspoken World Cup winner is in Italy this week to coincide with the release of a new video chronicling his colourful playing career and spoke with the Gazzetta dello Sport reporters in Milan, where he outlined his plans.

"When Benitez leaves I would like to coach Napoli,” he said.

Maradona spent seven years with Partenopei during the 1980s, scoring 81 goals in 188 appearances as the club known affectionately as the Little Donkeys enjoyed a period of unprecedented success that included two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and a UEFA Cup.

However the midfielder ultimately left Naples under something of a cloud as a series of personal problems proved too much for the club and player to handle.

His career ultimately petered out with stints at Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors but after some brief dalliances in management, Maradona made a return to the footballing limelight as manager of the Argentina national team.

What followed was an up and down World Cup qualification campaign as La Albiceleste struggled to first qualify for the finals in South Africa and then duly crashed out at the quarter-final stage, losing 4-1 to Germany.

But Maradona wasn’t done with management and a job at Dubai club Al Wasl followed, where the Argentine suffered yet more problems both on and off the pitch before being dispatched after just a single year in charge.

It all makes for a rather patchy managerial CV, but that hasn’t put the World’s Best Player off pursuing future roles, with Napoli seemingly his number one target.

“There are coaching changes all over the place, from Spain to Italy to England to Russia, but some people are afraid of me,” he said.

“That's why I'm not coaching."

Maradona may be waiting a while to replace current manager Benitez though, with the Spaniard enjoying a fantastic start to his time at the San Paolo with Napoli currently second and unbeaten in Serie A this term.

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