Diego Maradona has set his sights on claiming football's ultimate prize for a second time as he embarks on an unexpected career as the coach of Argentina.

The little genius who, as a player, almost single-handedly guided his country to glory in Mexico in 1986 now believes he can repeat that triumph in South Africa in 2010 with a squad of players that might not have one individual as outstanding as himself, but is undeniably packed with world class talent.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juan Roman Riquelme were excused international duty for Maradona's first game in charge, a friendly against Scotland here on Wednesday evening.

But after his first training sessions with the likes of Liverpool's Javier Mascherano and Manchester United's Carlos Tevez, Maradona was brimming with confidence about his prospect of emulating Franz Beckenbauer's achievement by captaining then coaching his country to World Cup glory.

"First and foremost, I only have one objective and that is to win the World Cup," Maradona said. "There is no point thinking about making it into the last four. With the players that we have that has to be our goal and that is what I will be striving to achieve.

"It has been great for me to work with the players here. My time has come now and I am really enjoying the moment. I will work on the tactics and how we approach the games but it is very important that I get into the players' hearts.

"I think they need someone to guide them and I can do that. I want to make the players happy and proud to wear the shirt. I hope I will be good for them and they will be good for me."