Maradona admits “I might need more than the Hand of God now”

Argentina have lost 3 – 1 at home to Brazil. The result means their chances of automatic qualification for South Africa 2010 are now in considerable doubt.

By contrast, Brazil have officially qualified, and deservedly so. They will soon be followed by Spain, who battered Belgium 5 – 0 and will probably give Estonia a kicking on Wednesday night.

Elsewhere, there was cause for rejoicing on both sides of the border as Northern Ireland and the Republic secured wins. Both now have a great chance of at least making the play-offs.

In Group 1 Sweden have renewed hope of a place in the finals after a 2 – 1 victory in Hungary.

Switzerland beat Greece and now look in control of Group 2.

France are officially rubbish – unless they beat Serbia this week.

Scotland must avoid defeat against Holland on Wednesday. If they don’t, their best hope is for Norway and Macedonia to draw in Oslo.

As expected, Croatia overcame Belarus. Now they must beat England at Wembley to have any chance of automatic qualification.

Reports that Cameroon brought Roger Miller out of retirement are of course untrue. Whatever the cause, if they repeat yesterday’s 2 – 0 victory over Gabon against the same opposition on Wednesday evening, they’ll be dancing in the streets of Yaounde.

And if the Ivory Coast don't qualify from their group now, we can expect a ridiculous conspiracy theory from Didier Drogba within hours.

The North, Central America and Caribbean group is still up for grabs after wins for the USA, Honduras and Mexico.

That’s the qualification stuff over and done with for now. Now for the important stuff - inventing quotes from Maradona which hark back to this infamous Hand of God goal against England in 1986.

Quizzed by reporters after the loss against Brazil the legendary No. 10 may or may not have said “I might need more than the Hand of God now”.

He may or may not have gone on to say “I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing.”

And finally, there is of course some doubt about whether Maradona actually said “I’m genuinely sorry about that incident. It should never have happened and I probably deserved to be booked or even sent off. Of course the second one was a belter, so I’d prefer to talk about that if you don’t mind.”

Somehow I can’t see that happening...

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