Diego Maradona offered job as Argentina national-team coach
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Diego Maradona was offered a chance to coach Argentina's soccer team, but declined to say Tuesday whether he accepted.
Maradona and Carlos Bilardo were asked to lead the national team by Julio Grondona, head of the country's soccer association.
Maradona would be the coach and Bilardo the general director, but the pair would not confirm whether they accepted the positions after leaving the meeting with Grondona.
"We have to keep talking," Maradona said. "There are some things to resolve. This is just beginning."
Bilardo agreed: "Are things getting started? Yes."
Grondona has led the search for a coach following Alfio Basile's recent resignation for personal reasons he's yet to make public.
Bilardo is the head of the Sports Secretariat for Buenos Aires province.
Maradona's own coaching experiences have not been positive.
He led Deportivo Mandiyu in 1994 and Racing Club in 1995, and in both cases left before his contract was up.
Maradona regarded teammates from his 1986 World Cup champion side also worthy national coaches, players such as Jose Luis Brown, Pedro Troglio and Sergio Batista.
Maradona captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title and the 1990 final. The next year, his drug-plagued fall from grace began with a positive test for cocaine leading to a 15-month ban from the Serie A. At the 1994 World Cup he tested positive for a stimulant and received another 15-month ban. He retired as a player in 1997 after failing another doping test.
This decade Maradona, who remains wildly popular in Argentina, has reportedly been close to death while battling heart problems, high blood pressure and obesity.
Last year he was hospitalized twice for acute hepatitis blamed on alcohol abuse.