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Soccer legend Diego Maradona has asked the vice president of the Chinese Football Association for a job, chinanews.com reports.
When asked by Wei Di on Thursday what support he would like during his eight-day trip to China, the 51-year-old Argentinean replied: "I want a job".
Diego Maradona (R) and Wei Di, vice president of Chinese Football Association hold a CFA flag during their meeting at a CFA office in Beijing on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]
Maradona, who was sacked as by the Dubai club Al Wasl FC in the United Arab Emirates in July due to poor performance, is in China on a youth soccer and charity tour.
On arriving in Beijing he told a news conference he would "like to coach the Chinese national team". But Wei Di played down any such move. "We've signed Camacho for three years. So let's wait till then to see," he said.
The Chinese national team signed Spaniard José Antonio Camacho as its head coach on a three-year deal in Aug 2011.
Wei, however, did express his wish to work with Maradona in coaching and youth training. He revealed the CFA will pick five cities as pilot programs for a new youth soccer development plan and he hoped that Maradona could play a role.
Maradona believes China has a solid breeding ground for soccer talent.
"Uruguay has less then 5 million people," he said. "But they have made an excellent team. China has such a large population so surely a great team can be built."
He said the most important factor for enhancing the level of soccer is to cultivate good quality players.
"You should make them love soccer. The atmosphere (enthusiasm for soccer) is required. Besides, there should be careers for players to work for."
"At my age, I strongly hope to coach the young player and leave my mark everywhere. I would share my way of playing soccer and personal experiences with them."
Some reports have suggested Shenzhen Ruby FC is interested in a deal with Maradona.