Will Maradona Coach the Palestinian Soccer Team?

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Argentine forward Diego Armando Maradona (C) plays the ball during the inter-religious 'match for peace' soccer game in Rome's Olympic Stadium, September 1, 2014.Credit: AFP

Argentine soccer icon Diego Armando Maradona is reportedly in negotiations to coach the Palestinian soccer team. 

According to Argetinian online news site infobae, Maradona is in advanced talks to coach the team ahead of the AFC Asian Cup tournament in Australia in 2015. 16 teams will be competing at the tournament in January. Infobae cited Middle Eastern media sources, while other reports also cited Russian media.

If Maradona does take on the job, it will be the fifth team he has coached to date, the website said. His most recent coaching gig was with the United Arab Emirates' Al Wasl, who sacked him in 2012.  

Maradona is often called a sporting deity back home after leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title having scored a goal against England in the quarterfinals that he famously credited to the ''hand of God'' after using his fist to push the ball into the net.

Maradona has expressed  support for the Palestinians in the past. When he was still coaching Al Wasl, he told reporters "I am the number one fan of the Palestinian people. I respect them and sympathize with them," according to Ynet.

He even promised the Palestinian football team to visit Palestine, and said, "I support this nation’s cause, since I grew up on struggle and standing against injustice."  

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