Diego Maradona has blasted Real Madrid sports director Jorge Valdano over his treatment of the club's Argentines. The Spanish outfit currently have three Argentina players on their books - Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Gago and Ezequiel Garay - and the trio remain very much in Maradona's thoughts ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
However, first-team opportunities are proving hard to come by for the South American stars at Santiago Bernabeu, hindering their prospects of featuring in South Africa this summer.
"Valdano is one of the biggest rivals to Argentina at the moment because he first sent Gabriel Heinze away from Real Madrid and has now prevented Fernando Gago from leaving in search of regular football," said the outspoken national team coach.
"He knows they are two players that I have in mind for the World Cup. Fortunately Gabriel is somewhere he can play (Marseille) but Fernando doesn't play and I can't call a player into my team that is not match sharp.
"He (Valdano) is doing the same with Gonzalo Higuain, even though he is scoring more goals than (Karim) Benzema and Raul.
"I think it's disgusting that an Argentinian is preventing other Argentinians from playing regularly.
"I know that many things are decided by the coach Manuel Pellegrini, but it seems to me that Valdano is not doing enough to help our guys."