There is rarely a dull moment in the life of Diego Maradona but only a matter of months after announcing his role as president of Belarusian club Dinamo Brest, the iconic Argentinian World Cup winner has been presented as manager of Mexican second division club Dorados.
Based in the northwestern city of Culiacán, in the centre of Sinaloa cartel country, Dorados signing Maradona has been open season for those wanting to link the club to the 57-year-old’s well publicised battle with addiction.
Aside from speaking of the challenge that Dorados face on the pitch, Maradona didn’t look to avoid that particular subject and spoke openly about his past.
“I had a lot of missteps in my life. I assume this responsibility like someone who holds a child in their arms,” Maradona told the huge amount of press gathered for his unveiling.
“Ever since I kicked my illness 15 years ago, [when] I was wasting away. I want to explain to you that when I was using I was falling apart. When I took [drugs] … It made me go backwards, it was a step back, and what football players have to do is go forward.
🥁 + 🥁 = 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/5pv5BBYw6y
— #HazlaDeDiez (@Dorados) September 11, 2018
Arguably the greatest player of all-time, Maradona’s managerial career has failed to reach anywhere near those standards. Coaching spells with Deportivo Mandiyu, Racing and famously Argentina, the famous number ten has been in the Middle East with Al-Wasl and most recently Fujairah.
“I am here to give my heart like I did in Fujairah, where I drove 300 kilometres a day to work. When you put down that the club has no titles, make sure you put in the promotion.”
That is Maradona’s task with Dorados currently 13th in Mexico’s second division, the Liga Ascenso, and without a win in the opening six matches.
“It is up to us to carry an elephant on our shoulders and that is not easy. I do not hide, I don’t kill and I don’t lie.”
Whether Maradona is the coach to lead Dorados back into the Liga MX remains to be seen but judging by the reaction of the supporters for his first public training session, the city is behind him.
Local media may have suggested that residents in one neighbourhood were trying to block Maradona from moving in but the club’s supporters were clear.
“We are not here for a stroll, we didn’t come on vacation, we came to work… It will be great to win together.”