A game they didn't need to play. A result they could have done without against a 'nation' that doesn't exist. Tuesday's 4-2 defeat to a Catalan national eleven in Barcelona has ensured that the year will end in the same turmoil for the national team as has become the norm. Any illusions that qualification for the World Cup would result in an outbreak of harmony between warring factions have long since diminished.
General Manager Carlos Bilardo has directed his ire towards Alejandro Mancuso, good friend of Maradona and current member of his coaching set-up. Mancuso, he alleges has fostered the separation between himself and Maradona, ruining their once beautiful relationship (only a few months ago Bilardo was trying to convince us that the bond between them was the same as in the 80's). The flight back from Spain to Argentina gave an indication of just how far relations had deteriorated - Bilardo was in First Class whilst Maradona and Mancuso slummed it with the plebs in Economy. Things must have reached rock bottom. December 28th will see Bilardo giving his side of the story via his radio show. At present Argentina are tearing themselves apart from the inside, in typical Dutch style.
Catalunya v Argentina