World Cup-winner Diego Maradona is all set to resurrect his coaching career after signing a deal with Argentine club Gimnasia y Esgrima. Since 2010, it will be the first time for him to coach a team in his homeland after serving as the national coach between 2008 and 2010.
“Star of world football, Diego Armando Maradona, has signed his name and is the new coach of Gimnasia. The deal runs until the end of the current season,” said the club in its official statement on Thursday. Gimnasia y Esgrima is based in the city of La Plata just outside Buenos Aires.
It was formed in 1887 and claims to be the oldest football clubs in the entire Americas region. Known as El Lobo or The Wolf, they have only one professional title, the Copa Centenario in 1993, to show in their century-old journey. They are currently reeling at the bottom of the first division points table with only one point from five matches.
Taking to his official Instagram account, Maradona shared the news and wrote, “Finally it’s now official. I am very happy to be the new coach of @gimnasia_oficial. I want to thank the president Gabriel Pellegrino for this opportunity and say to all the fans that we are going to work with our hearts and souls for The Wolf.”
A jubilant crowd had gathered at the club to welcome the football legend as their new coach. The stint with Gimnasia y Esgrima marks a return of his coaching career in his countryland in almost a decade. He had short spell serving as the national coach between 2008 and 2010 before he was sacked following a debacle in FIFA World Cup 2010. He has also coached another local clubs such as Mandiyu and Racing in the 1990s.
The 58-year-old, who is considered one of the greatest footballers ever, was an erratic striker who had captained his country to the World Cup-glory in 1986. His last coaching stint was in Mexico where he led second division side Dorados of Sinaloa. Off late, he has been subjected to frequent hospital treatments often due to his extravagant lifestyle.