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Diego Maradona recently put his hand up to coach Argentina's national team, and Javier Mascherano has voiced his support for the World Cup winner...

Los Albicelestes are in the market for a new coach following Alfio Basile's surprise resignation after the recent World Cup qualifying loss to Chile.

And Mascherano believes Maradona, widely regarded as the world's greatest ever footballer, is an ideal candidate to take the reins.

"Maradona can contribute to the team all of his experience," the Liverpool midfielder said in the Daily Mail. "What he has given us as a player, no other player could give that to Argentina. He has given us so much."

Maradona, whose club career took him to Barcelona and Napoli, is one of several former Argentine internationals vying for the job.

Sergio Batista, who also lifted the Copa Mundial in 1986, has been appointed as caretaker coach and is among the favourites to get the gig on a full-time basis.

River Plate manager Diego Simeone, Maradona's team-mate at Sevilla during the early 1990s, is also in the frame, and Mascherano is confident that whatever decision is made will be the right one.

"There are big names," said the 24-year-old, who has 45 caps for his country. "They are coaches who have triumphed, each in their own way.

"Hopefully, what comes to pass will be the best for Argentine football, because we are a year and a half away from a World Cup and we have to qualify. It seems a like a long time away, but it is nothing."

Leslie May

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