x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

If Maradona comes, we can be certain there will never be a dull moment

If Al Wasl are successful in their courtship of Diego Maradona, we can be certain of this: however long his tenure, the club will never have a dull moment.

If Al Wasl are successful in their courtship of Diego Maradona, we can be certain of this: however long his tenure, the club will never have a dull moment.

Maradona's history as a coach is liberally dotted by incidents both alarming and absurd.

Among the former: his expletive-filled rant at reporters after Argentina qualified for the 2010 World Cup, an eruption that led to Fifa banning him for two months in 2009.

Among the latter: the deluxe toilet fixtures he demanded and received at Argentina's base in Pretoria during the World Cup.

And fitting both categories, alarming and absurd: the 10 stitches he took on his lip a year ago when, according to his doctor, he was bitten by his Shar Pei while kissing the dog good night.

Wasl surely understand that Maradona the coach has yet to demonstrate that he is remotely as capable as Maradona the player.

He has been in charge for only 42 matches, 23 of which came with Argentine clubs more than 15 years ago. The other 19 came during his uneven tenure with an enormously talented Argentina side who were shattered 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals in South Africa, seeming to vindicate the notion that Maradona's coaching consisted of little more than writing 11 names on a team sheet.

He would immediately become the most famous footballer ever to work in the UAE. Whether he would do anything concrete to advance Wasl or the Pro League is another matter entirely.

His history indicates he will behave … memorably.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae