Johannesburg: Diego Maradona believes a
passionate love of his team can help Argentina lift the World
Cup - but he`ll always be a ladies` man.
After Argentina demolished South Korea 4-1 to move closer
to the last 16 today, Maradona turned wide-eyed and left no
doubt as to his thoughts on the matter.
"I prefer women. I am dating Veronica, she is 31 years
old, she is blonde, she is beautiful," he said, causing an
outburst of laughter at the post-match news conference.
Maradona, who makes a point of kissing and hugging his
players and coaches, is bidding to emulate Germany`s Franz
Beckenbauer by winning the World Cup as both a player and a
His Argentina side tore apart South Korea in Group B with
Real Madrid`s Gonzalo Higuain scoring a hat-trick and midfield
maestro Lionel Messi playing a part in all three of his goals.
The 49-year-old Maradona heaped praise on his side after
their second win and said he makes sure all 23 of his `tough
guys` are physically and mentally ready before each game,
taking time to listen to their problems.
"I am grateful to the players for the job they do, but
that is it," said the former midfield magician, who captained
Argentina to their second World Cup win at Mexico 1986.
"We have a great team here and we are all very frank and
"Whatever happens in the family, or if someone`s coming
late to a training session, we talk about it openly.”
"I believe talking about things is better than punishing
someone or giving out a fine, players respond much better."
Argentina play Greece in their final Group B match in
Polokwane on June 22.