I Will Not Be Sacked

diego-maradonaDiego Maradona warned his critics he will fight until his last “drop of blood” after Paraguay dealt Argentina’s World Cup hopes another huge blow.

Nelson Valdes’ superb 27th-minute finish clinched a 1-0 win that sent Paraguay through to the finals and the Argies out of the four automatic qualifying spots.

Boss Maradona is under rising pressure as the two-times champions risk missing out on South Africa 2010 – having never failed to qualify since 1970.

But Maradona said: “As long as I have a drop of blood left, I will fight to get Argentina qualified.

“We’re not out of the World Cup.

“I’m not afraid of criticism. I’m not afraid of anybody. I’m going to continue no matter who criticizes me.”

Argentina’s ex-Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron saw red early in the second half following a harsh second booking.

And Maradona’s tale of woe contrasts with the joy of Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino – a fellow Argentinian and former team-mate at Newell’s Old Boys – who could soon be linked with the Argentina job.

Paraguay dominated the first-half against a clearly muddled and disorientated Argentina side.

Maradona had made four changes to the one beaten by Brazil on Saturday, bringing in 22-year-old debutant keeper Sergio Romero, while Maradona’s son-in-law Sergio Aguero earned his 21st cap as replacement for the injured Carlos Tevez.

Maradona even left in-form striker Lisandro Lopez off the subs bench – recalling 35-year-old Martin Palermo nine years after his last cap.

Palermo admitted he had been lost for words when asked for his reaction to his call-up.

The Sun

~ by footballdirecta on September 10, 2009.

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