x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Diego Maradona set for UAE Division One debut as Fujairah manager

Almost six months after being appointed manager, the Argentine's side start bid for promotion to the Arabian Gulf League against Orouba.

Diego Maradona, centre, will take charge of his first Fujairah league match on Saturday.  Christopher Pike / The National
Diego Maradona, centre, will take charge of his first Fujairah league match on Saturday. Christopher Pike / The National

The long wait for Diego Maradona to take charge of his first league game as manager of Fujairah will come to an end on Saturday.

The Argentine, who turned 57 earlier this week, will be the in the dugout for Fujairah's opening First Division match of the season against Orouba on Saturday, with the game kicking off at 4.50pm at Fujairah Stadium.

The man who captained Argentina to World Cup success in 1986 and remains one of the most famous names in the world of football, was appointed manager in May.

__________________________________

Read more

Diego Maradona already making his mark at Fujairah

Watch: Maradona meets his Fujairah players for the first time

Maradona has 'great desire' for new challenge

________________________________________________

A long pre-season schedule has meant Maradona has had plenty of time to get to know his squad through training sessions, which began in July, friendlies and President's Cup preliminary round matches.

But now the real work begins for Maradona as he looks to guide Fujairah to promotion to the Arabian Gulf League at the first attempt after they were relegated last season.

It is Maradona's second stint as a manager in the UAE after he was in charge of Al Wasl during the 2011-12 season.

Maradona has proven a hit with the players and club officials already, and on his birthday on Monday he was presented with a birthday cake at the club.

In July, after one of his first training sessions, team manager and former captain Yousuf Abdullah said: “We’re happy and to be honest, we’re lucky.

“This is a like a dream for us, to have someone like Maradona here. He is the guy. He gives the players so much motivation, talking with everyone - even the injured players, asking how they are, discussing their situation."