Thursday, 11 December 2008

Argentina: Maradona Has Roles For Riquelme and Veron

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has confirmed that Juan Roman Riquelme and Juan Sebastian Veron are both in his plans in the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup, as he feels it is vital to have an experienced playmaker in the side.

Riquelme, 30, and Veron, 33, were both absent from Maradona's first squad as coach due to club commitments, but having watched a number of games involving the pair in recent weeks, Maradona is keen to get them back in the national setup in 2009.

"It is clear to me that at least one of Riquelme or Verón must start, as they can take charge of the team, issue orders and take on the role of on-field coach," he told Ole.

Maradona has previously spoken about his affection for Riquelme, whom he believes "is in need of a rest," over the winter break, and so decided to elaborate his feelings toward Verón.

"Verón is one of the best in the world," he affirmed.

"We will have to find a place for him in the side, maybe in a three-man central midfield or something.

"Our goal is to find a place for as many players as possible that can do damage to our opponents, and I have a lot of options in that regard."

Maradona is also impressed with Verón's attitude, considering that the midfielder is reaching the twilight years of his football career.

"I speak with him and he has a lot of desire, a real thirst to play for the national side once more... despite his age, he has the desire of an 18 year old, keen to make an impact.

"He doesn't look like a playing drifting towards retirement. He runs more than anyone and if you add this to his other attributes then it makes him a complete player," he concluded.

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