Batista, Brown to assist Maradona
Sergio Batista and Jose Luis Brown changed their minds and agreed to become assistants to Argentina coach-to-be Diego Maradona on Friday.
“I'm happy because (Maradona) said that we were a team, that we should share opinions, although it's clear the final decisions will be made by him,” Batista told Buenos Aires-based television station C5N after meeting with the soccer great.
Batista will continue to be the Argentina youth team coach, and Brown remains as his assistant. Batista also coached the team that won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.
Maradona, Batista and Brown were teammates for Argentina's 1986 World Cup win, coached by Carlos Bilardo, who will be the new manager.
Local media and fans are hoping the coaching group will restore some of the glory of the “Generation of '86” to the faltering Argentine team, which stands third in South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Batista initially rejected the offer to assist Maradona on Wednesday because of a “lack of communication.”
Meanwhile, Maradona postponed his weekend trip to England to remain in Buenos Aires for his official appointment next week as coach. Maradona and Bilardo will be confirmed on Tuesday by the Argentine Football Association's executive committee.
Maradona planned to travel to England on Saturday to meet with top Argentine players Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, who play for Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively.
Argentina's next match is a friendly against Scotland on Nov. 19 at Glasgow.