Put this down as one of those rumors that will likely never come true but it’s still fun to speculate and laugh about: Diego Maradona could become the next manager of the Iranian national team.
Diego told the Iranian daily Ebtekar that “I already met Fidel and Chávez, I need to meet your president.” In response, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apparently stated that “Maradona should be the manager of our national team.”
That’s it. No quotes from Iran’s soccer federation, who would be the ones to actually offer him a job, or current manager Afshin Ghotbi, who is set to leave his post next year after the Asian Cup in Qatar.
Maradona spent several years in Cuba at a drug rehab facility, which is to say he hung out a lot with Fidel, smoked cigars and boned up on socialist rhetoric and anti-American sloganeering. Then he got a Che Guevara tattoo on his arm, for good measure. He befriended Venezuela’s strongman, Hugo Chávez, as a result of their mutual affinity for Castro.
Most likely, Diego will visit Tehran, have lunch with Ahmadinejad, do some keepy-uppy for the cameras, then go home when he finds out about Islam’s views on alcohol. Fast forward a couple months: he’ll make some flippant remarks about how it would be nice to meet Kim Jong Il, and the Maradona Media Circus will go on the road again.