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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Diego Maradona's journey from UAE through Belarus takes him to Mexico

Former Argentine footballer, who managed Al Wasl and Fujairah, will take over reins at strugglers Dorados

Diego Maradona's managerial career has included stints with Argentina and a series of clubs around the world, including Al Wasl and Fujairah. Reuters
Diego Maradona's managerial career has included stints with Argentina and a series of clubs around the world, including Al Wasl and Fujairah. Reuters

Argentine hero Diego Maradona has been hired to manage Mexican second-division football club Dorados, the team announced on Thursday, the retired great's latest foray into managing.

Maradona's colourful career has included stints managing the Argentine national team and a series of clubs around the world, including Al Wasl fro 2011 to 2012 and Fujairah from 2017 to 2018. He had just started a job as president of Belarus side Dinamo Brest in July.

But after parting ways with manager Francisco Ramirez Gamez, Dorados managed to convince Maradona to sign up for a spell in Mexico.

"Dorados of Sinaloa is pleased to announce Diego Armando Maradona is the new manager of the 'Big Fish'," the club said in a statement.

"Considered by many to be the best footballer of all time, Diego was known in his playing career for leading teams with guts and fight to carry them to successes that few believed possible."

The club want Maradona, 57, to stay for the remainder of 2018 and all of next season, Dorados president Jorgealberto Hank Inzunza told ESPN.

"In my conversations with him he's been very excited to come coach here. Honestly, it was easier to convince him than I thought," he said.

The club first confirmed rumours of Maradona's hiring with a brief video posted online. "Diego, welcome to the Big Fish!" a message accompanying the video said.

Dorados are in 13th place in their 15-team league.

Maradona's hand of god

Magnificent goal that followed ...

Mexico was the scene of his greatest triumph: leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title. Two moments during that tournament neatly summed up what made him both controversial and great.

The first was his infamous "hand of God" goal in Argentina's quarter-final against England, in which he punched the ball into the net for an ill-gotten point.

The second, four minutes later, was a breathtaking dash in which he single-handedly beat the entire English defense to slot in what would go on to be voted "the goal of the century".

But Maradona has sometimes had a touchy relationship with Mexico.

He infuriated Mexicans in June when he said the country did not deserve to host the 2026 World Cup, which it was awarded along with the United States and Canada.