Diego Maradona has given his backing to Jose Mourinho for dropping Iker Casillas and reiterated his belief in the Portuguese’s ability.
The Real Madrid boss has come under further scrutiny during a difficult first half of the 2012-13 season for dropping fan favourite Casillas in the team’s last game of the calendar year.
However, following on from declaring at the Dubai International Sports Conference in Dubai on Friday that he was the ‘best in the world’, Maradona has offered further support towards Mourinho.
“I think it is great that Mou benched Casillas. Mourinho is the boss. This happened whether he won, lost or drew,” the Argentine told reporters over the weekend about Jose, who was also at the conference speaking.
“Mourinho is the Coach, whatever Casillas or the others may say. You hire a Coach, you stand by him, you choose a goalkeeper and stand by him, you hire a full-back and stand by him.
“I’ll give you an example. Arbeloa has nothing in a comparison with Dani Alves, but he is playing at Real Madrid. And who has questioned him? How many goals has Arbeloa scored? How many shots has he had? Let’s see who has the best team player by player and then talk.
“I think Mourinho is a phenomenon. Along with Guardiola, he has demonstrated personality and ideas. They have everything you require in a technician to lead a group.
“And it is not easy, it is very difficult to gather many heads in a dressing room as confusion can enter and with that then it is much easier to lose a game.”
Madrid have fallen 16 points behind League leaders Barcelona, just six months after winning La Liga with a record points haul.
“Madrid always has a physical slump and then suffers. But that does not happen with Barcelona. The same thing happened to us in Italy with the teams in the south and the north. Then I understood.
“Maybe we do not have enough strength as the holidays end to be at our competitive best mentally or physically. But it seems exaggerated, the difference between Barcelona and Real Madrid at this stage of the season.”
Maradona, who is currently out of work after a spell in charge of United Arab Emirates side Al Wasl came to an end in July, hinted that La Liga may be a future destination for himself.
“I do not know when I will train in Spain. But all I’m saying is that I do not lack the desire. Right now there has to be a President or someone else who believes that I can work in a highly competitive Spanish game who will give me a chance. Nothing more.
“Who? I have no particular hope, but wherever I can lead a team that can fight for something or progress. That is all that a Coach coverts for his career.”