FIFA Hangover: The many moods of Maradona
NDTV.com takes a look at the myriad moods of Diego Armando Maradona, the Argentine coach during his team's sojourn in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Diego Armando Maradona was by far one of the most colourful characters along the touchline in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The man who once shouldered the burden of an entire nation's expectations and succeeding in fulfilling the Argentine dream of winning the World Cup in 1986, tried his best to do so as a coach this time. <br><br> Although he fell short of realising his dream after his Argentine boys (who looked like one of the top contenders) ran into the German juggernaut in the quarter-finals, Maradona remained a constant focus of attention for the media and fans because of his expressive nature and maniacal behaviour on the park.<br><br> NDTV.com takes a look at the different moods of Argentina's 'favourite child', during the soccer extravaganza in South Africa.
The campaign started on a positive note for the 'Albiceleste' as they managed to beat Nigeria in their opening fixture by a solitary goal.<br><br> Maradona was upbeat about his team's chances and when Gabriel Heinze (seen in the pic with Maradona) headed home from close range, the Argentine coach was not only happy but he also had some pearls of wisdom to give to the goal scorer.
Cheering his team constantly from the side-lines, Maradona was ecstatic to start the campaign on a winning note.<br><br> After the victory he not only celebrated with the players but was also quick to acknowledge the support of the fans.
Maradona was actively involved with the team throughout the tournament. Irrespective of his bloated self, he not only guided his players during the training sessions but also took active part in the training.<br><br> He is seen here taking a free-kick during a training session before the match against South Korea.
Although criticised for his over dependence on a three man strike force, Maradona's beliefs were vindicated in the match against South Korea which Argentina won 4-2.<br><br> He is seen here celebrating a goal with striker Gonzalo Higuain who netted the first hat-trick of the tournament.<br><br> Every goal scored by his team was cheered with great passion by the coach.
Ever since taking over as the coach, Maradona has had a turbulent relationship with the media. But there were occasions during the tournament when he spoke candidly with the press.<br><br> This was one moment as he is seen showcasing the sunglasses received as a present from his daughters for Father's Day.
Diego Maradona at his animated best. The coach is seen here giving out tactical indications to his players on the pitch during the match against Greece.<br><br> Much like his playing days, Maradona was a one-man army as he rarely allowed anyone from the coaching staff to take centre stage. <br><br> He though received full support from his staff and a few of them publicly asked him to stay on even after the team's exit from the tournament.
Some his decisions were heavily criticised by the media back home but Maradona was firm about who all he wanted in his squad.<br><br> The inclusion of Martin Palermo was one such call. The veteran striker was called back and although mostly benched, he did manage to score a goal in the match against Greece.<br><br> And Maradona was the happiest man on the park as he rushed to hug his boy.
And there were occasions when he did lose it. The eccentric man managed to create quite a spectacle on whenever he faced the waiting media during the training session.<br><br> Maradona can be seen here making faces at the shutterbugs before the match against Mexico.
Once again Maradona did something that was least expected. In the second round match against Mexico, he decided to take off Carlos Tevez in the middle of the second half after the striker had scored twice in each half.<br><br> Although Maradona embraced Tevez and tried to make the situation look rosy, the television cameras easily caught the striker's disappointment on being substituted.
Maradona's joy it seemed knew no bounds as he exulted and celebrated with great vigour and passion after the victory over Mexico.<br><br> This was a time when his team was looking in great shape and the coach was ready to wear his emotions on his sleeves.
This was by far the most pleasant sight for any Argentina fan all across the globe.<br><br> Maradona hugging his play-maker Lionel Messi was truely a magnificent moment that was witnessed after the victory over Mexico. <br><br> Hailed as the best players of their respective generations, Maradona was all praise for Messi throughout the campaign and did not let go of a chance to embrace his most important player.
Known for his volatile temperament, Maradona was in the thick of things after a clash between the Argentine and Mexican players during the second round encounter.<br><br> Maradona stood by his players and jumped into the melee only to be rescued later by FIFA officials and his bodyguards.
Maradona's family has been a great pillar of strength on several occasions and the man was seen in the company of his kin even during the World Cup.<br><br> He is seen here with his nephew Thiago after a practice in Pretoria ahead of the quarter-final clash with Germany.
The exuberance and smile though vanished from Maradona's face as the rampant Germans tore apart the Argentine defence in the quarter-final.<br><br> Maradona tried his best to rally his troops but the young German squad exploited every chink in the Argentine armour.
The result was a foregone conclusion as the Germans plundered the Argentine defence to score 4 goals.<br><br> The agony and despair could be clearly seen on Maradona's face as his dream of leading his nation to a third World Cup triumph crashed in front of his eyes.
Although the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow, Maradona appreciated his players and tried to console them as much as he could.<br><br> Seen here with Burdisso, Maradona personally went up to each of his boys to share their grief but his own disbelief at the huge upset was something that was there for everyone to see.
Maradona tried his best to put up a brave front and exited the stadium with his daughter by his side.<br><br> The Argentine great is seen here kissing his daughter Giannina as she too broke down after Argentina's 4-0 loss to Germany.