Monday, September 14, 2009

Maradona Vs. Dunga (The good vs the bad)

People are baffled at Argentina’s dire situation in the South American World Cup qualifying. How can one of the best soccer players ever, Maradona, take his team to the point of destruction as a coach? If you are a great player like Maradona, you should be able to teach players little bit of information that otherwise mediocre players, like Dunga, wouldn’t be able to teach? So why the hell has first time coach Dunga prevailed while first time coach Maradona failed?

First off, soccer is a mental game as much as physical. Maradona prevailed in soccer because of his “technical” ability (ease of dribbling, running with the ball, passing, trapping etc). Dunga on the other hand prevailed in soccer because of his mental ability. Dunga was never considered a great player. He was an above average stopper who carried the piano on the field while Romario and Bebeto played the piano. This means Dunga did the grunt work on the field so that other “good” players could create scoring opportunities or score.

Dunga studied tactics, strategies and formations throughout his career in the relentless effort to become a mediocre player. Maradona didn’t need to study as his great field sense and unbelievable technical ability drove him to the front of every team. I can see how the coach of Maradona would tell everyone on the team to pass the ball to Maradona. The coach would orientate the team to function for Maradona.

In other words, Jimi Hyndrix received his first guitar at 15 and the only class he failed in school was music class! Could Jimi Hyndrix read music? Probably not very well, but he could play the hell out of that damn guitar!

So just like Jimi, Maradona can play great, but he hasn’t studied the game enough to become a national team coach. His mental concept of the game is worthy of an “F”.

In today’s competitive soccer world the top level coaches study the game and are able to relay their message to the players with heart and reasonableness. Maradona, has the heart, but lacks the head.

What can you expect from a guy who ruined his legacy on drugs?

He will still be remembered as one of the best players in history.

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