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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Fujairah manager Diego Maradona 'sad I didn't look after myself' during playing career

Argentina great is regarded as one of the finest footballers in history and is now in charge at the UAE First Division club.

Diego Maradona took charge of UAE First Division club Fujairah this summer tasked with guiding them to promotion to the Arabian Gulf League. Courtesy Fujairah FC
Diego Maradona took charge of UAE First Division club Fujairah this summer tasked with guiding them to promotion to the Arabian Gulf League. Courtesy Fujairah FC

Argentine great Diego Maradona, the current manager of UAE First Division club Fujairah, has said he wishes he took better care of himself during his playing days, but is happy to be "part of the history of football".

Maradona is regarded as one of the finest footballers in history, captaining Argentina to the 1986 Fifa World Cup, when he was credited for almost single-handedly lifting his country to the trophy. He also played an integral role in Napoli twice winning Italy’s Serie A, in the 1986/87 and 1989/90 season.

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However, despite his illustrious playing career, Marardona has suggested that the fitness issues that became apparent in the latter stages of his career are something he wished he avoided.

"Maradona did what he had to do ... and he had a lot of fun," he said in an interview with Fifa.com.

"I'm a bit sad because I didn't look after myself for football as I should have so I believe I had a lack of respect for the ball. But I am still part of the history of football and that's enough for me to tell my grandkids who their grandfather was, where and how we played, how he felt."

Following his playing days Maradona went into management and after short spells in his homeland with Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing, took over the Argentina national team in 2008, leading them at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Maradona's first taste of UAE football came in 2011, taking charge of Arabian Gulf League club Al Wasl for the 2011/12 season. The former Boca Juniors forward took charge of Fujairah this summer tasked with leading the club to promotion to the UAE top flight.

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