We can finally relax. Maradona won’t be running naked through the streets of Buenos Aires, allowing us to strike one unpleasant picture off our list this World Cup.
Love him or hate him, you couldn’t ignore the man this season.
He’s been racist (“We all know how the French are”).
He’s surprised us with his logic (What an a***hole you are. How can you put your leg there where it can get run over?,” he screamed after he ran his car over a cameraman’s foot).
He’s been hilarious (Players can have sex “as long as the women do all the work.”)
He’s been homophobic (“I have not gone limp wristed,” he shot back when reporters quizzed him about his enthusiastic hugs & kisses for his boys). Little surprise there, though. In one famous war of words with Pele, the Brazilian legend called Maradona a poor role model because of his cocaine & alcohol addiction. Maradona’s retort?: “Pele lost his virginity to a man.”
But perhaps unintentionally, the feisty Argentina coach has left us with a thought on the most unlikeliest of subjects.
Would you want him as your boss?
His leadership style has been questioned by those who felt he gave too little importance to tactics. During play, he was always restless and on the edge of the dotted line designed to keep coaches in their boxes. He celebrated his players’ successes a little too loudly (“Great one, you beast!”), but refused to tell them what to do.
The man who preferred to be a free spirit as a player probably thought it works best as a coach, too. “Nobody ever told me where to play….. (Messi) is a grown-up. I did it back in my era and now it’s his turn.”
Maradona’s theory was that the players should go out there and have fun: the rest would follow. In his conversations with players, he focused on their thoughts and problems, not on strategy. Never mind that the lack of attention to detail led to Argentina losing out to the almost-perfect defense of the Germans.
We’ve all had — or wished we had — bosses like that. The ones who cheer you on, but refuse to micromanage you. The ones for whom excel sheets matter less than the passion and commitment you bring to the job. The one who listens to your problems, and offers suggestions, but lets you find your own way.
“(Back then)…players used to play much more for themselves. Today, players are more practical, more team oriented …(that is) the new fashion,” a puzzled Maradona said after Saturday’s match, where his team was routed 4- nil by the Germans.
Argentina’s attacking style, and the idea that enjoying the game matters most, may be going out of fashion. And the recession may have killed the boss who brings out the best in you by motivating you, instead of instilling fear that you may lose your job.
Would you want a ‘Maradona’ as your boss? Or would you prefer a traditional ‘supervisor’ who will push you to go where s/he wants you to go? We’d like to hear from you.