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Maradona to go on European scouting trip

New Argentina coach Diego Maradona will set off on a European scouting tour this weekend, an Argentinian football federation source said Friday.

The former Barcelona and Napoli star will return to the countries he played his club football in, as well as heading to Germany, to assess the Argentinian players there.

Maradona makes his managerial debut in a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow on November 19, followed by a match with France in Marseille next February.

On Thursday, the new coach told a press conference: “I am travelling to England on Saturday to watch (Carlos) Tevez and (Javier) Mascherano play. And in Scotland I am going to make my coaching debut.”

Mascherano's club boss, Liverpool's Rafael Benitez, on Friday welcomed Maradona's plans to come to England, saying he would roll out the red carpet.

“Diego will be very welcome to come to our training ground next week, and to see the match. Maybe I can persuade him to take a few free-kicks!”

Maradona was confirmed as the new coach on Monday to replace Alfio Basile, who resigned after a World Cup qualifying defeat to Chile left them trailing group leaders Paraguay.

Fri 31 October, 2008
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