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Maradona Denies Simeone Rumors
    2007-12-05 08:41:13     Xinhua

Former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona gestures before the Argentine First Division soccer match between Boca Juniors and Lanus at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, December 2, 2007. [REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (ARGENTINA)]

Argentine soccer celebrity Diego Maradona on Tuesday publicly denied press reports that he had contacted Diego Simeone to be the next manager of Boca Juniors and made a call to respect Boca's current manager, Miguel Angel Russo.

Simeone, known as El Cholo (the mixed race man), "remains under contract. He is not my ideal candidate," Maradona said. "I have not recommended him because now is not the right time. We must respect Miguel," he added.

Russo's contract expires after the World Cup for clubs, which runs from Dec. 7 to Dec. 16.

Maradona, who captained the Argentine team that won the World Cup in Mexico City in 1986, was formally appointed as Boca's soccer advisor on Monday, but does not receive a salary.

Maradona added that Simeone "is a great professional doing great work for Estudiantes," a team from the Argentine city of La Plata. Estudiantes won the 2007 Opening Tournament after beating Boca. "But I don't even have his phone number," he added.

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