x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Maradona's No 2 at Al Wasl unveiled

Ali Hassan will assist the former coach of Argentina in his first season in charge.

Ali Hussain, second, left, signs a contract to become assistant coach to Diego Maradona.
Ali Hussain, second, left, signs a contract to become assistant coach to Diego Maradona.

Al Wasl have appointed Ali Hassan as assistant coach to Diego Maradona, the Argentine legend who will become the club's manager this summer.

Maradona's new assistant will be officially unveiled in a press conference on and falls into line with the proposal issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, who said all Dubai-based football clubs must have a UAE national on their coaching staff.

"We are used to such grand gestures by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed," Marwan bin Bayat, chairman of Al Wasl, said. "He has always been a great supporter of sports in general and football in particular, keeping a close watch on the football scene and club concerns in Dubai, which prompted His Highness to issue this decree that aims at filling a gap in the technical structure of football clubs in the emirate.

"The decision of filling the assistant coach position with UAE nationals is extremely significant and cements HH Sheikh Hamdan's long-term vision of preparing a generation of trained athletic local professionals through close collaboration with international experts and high calibre coaches with a strong track record. This decision supports Al Wasl Football Company's direction and dedication in preparing distinguished UAE national coaches."

Maradona was officially unveiled as the club's manager on Saturday and is expected to announce two new foreign signings shortly. Albert Benaiges, the former technical director at Barcelona, will also join the club in the summer as academy director.