Tuesday 20 March 2018

Maradona to get farewell party after his latest sacking

Diego Maradona. Photo: Getty Images
Diego Maradona. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Murgatroyd

Diego Maradona has been invited to a 'farewell ceremony' by United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl, who yesterday sacked him as their coach.

The club added that the ceremony would "reflect the unique and strong relationship" between them and the mercurial Argentinian.

The 51-year-old World Cup winner's two-year contract, signed in May 2011, was terminated by the club's board after a trophyless season that saw Al Wasl finish eighth in the 12-team UAE Pro League.

"We have not decided on a timeframe (for the ceremony) and it depends on Maradona's response," club vice-chairman Mohammed bin Dokhan told reporters through an interpreter.

Bin Dokhan said four or five names were on the table to replace Maradona.

One of them was Bruno Metsu, who coached the UAE to victory in the 2007 Gulf Cup and won the AFC Champions League with Al Ain in 2003. Metsu also coached Senegal to a notable win over France in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup.


The closest Al Wasl, who last won the domestic league title in 2007, came to success last season was in reaching the final of the Gulf Champions League.

However, having won the first leg against Bahrain side Al Muharraq 3-1, Maradona's side capitulated in the second leg in Dubai, having two players sent off en route to a 3-1 defeat before losing on penalties.

Maradona's sacking is the latest setback in his modest record as coach, one that is in complete contrast to his time as a player.

In addition to his World Cup winner's medal, Maradona enjoyed league title successes in Argentina and Italy, but as a coach he has yet to achieve any such highs.

He had brief spells with Mandiyu and Racing Club in his home country in 1994 and 1995 respectively but neither proved successful and his time as manager of Argentina was also less than spectacular.

Having struggled to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals, Argentina lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.

Irish Independent

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