Maradona's naked ambition

Argentina coach makes World Cup vow

Maradona: World Cup vow

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Diego Maradona has vowed to strip naked if he guides Argentina to World Cup glory in South Africa this summer.

"If we win the World Cup, I'll get naked and run around the city's Obelisk."

Diego Maradona.

Quotes of the week

Argentina are among the favourites for success at the showpiece tournament despite only scraping through the South American qualification programme.

And Maradona, who lifted the trophy as captain in 1986, claims he will streak around one of Buenos Aires' most famous landmarks should Argentina end their 24-year wait for the trophy.

He told reporters: "If we win the World Cup, I'll get naked and run around the city's Obelisk."

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi will be under the spotlight this summer as he looks to transfer his club form to the international stage.

Messi was rested for the warm-up victory over Canada with Maradona unwilling to risk an untimely injury to his talented playmaker.

Maradona told Messi: "If something had happened to you in that match, I'd have been shot - you know where."

Desire

Messi helped guide Barca to another La Liga title this season, having helped them secure the UEFA Champions League the previous term and now has his sights set on further success with Argentina.

He said: "I don't feel the pressure. The truth is I'm arriving in good shape.

"I have a strong desire to do as well as I can, as do my team-mates. We want to give our best for Argentina and we hope things turn out well.

"I won't change. I'll keep playing in the same way. I hope to be able to do what I do for Barcelona in the national team without my form suffering.

"I have also won everything individually and now I would like to do the same with Argentina."

Regular partners

Meanwhile, Maradona has adopted a more lenient stance with his squad than England boss Fabio Capello, who has banned the players' wives and girlfriends from accompanying them to South Africa.

Team doctor Donato Villami, speaking to Radio Del Plata, said: "The players will be able to have sex during the World Cup in South Africa, but with regular partners and without champagne or other drinks.

"Sex is part of everybody's social life and it's not a problem in itself. Problems arise with the excesses: all the extras, a non-regular partner or in hours reserved for rest."