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Maradona signs as coach of Al Wasl

Alex Leach.
Filed on May 16, 2011
Maradona signs as coach of Al Wasl

Al Wasl have hailed the arrival of Diego Armando Maradona as a “momentous development” and “significant milestone” after securing the Argentinean great’s services on a two-year coaching contract.

The 50-year-old’s visit to Zabeel Stadium on Saturday evening had heightened speculation that he was set to accept their vacant managerial position in the wake of Brazilian predecessor Sergio Farias’ sacking last month.

Those initial reports gained more momentum throughout Sunday and the eagerly anticipated news was eventually ratified on Monday afternoon.

“Al Wasl Sports Club is proud to announce the appointment of Diego Armando Maradona in a momentous development that will see the football legend lead the team for the next two seasons,” the Etisalat Pro-League club said in a statement.

“Amid rampant rumours in both local and national news, brought on by Maradona’s massive global appeal, Al Wasl can now confirm soliciting the services of one of the greatest footballers of all time.

“The news comes after lengthy negotiations with Maradona to lead Al Wasl Football Club into new frontiers.”

The chairman of Al Wasl Football Company, Marwan Bin Bayat, was equally as effusive about capturing the former FC Barcelona and Napoli player, who led his native country to the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa as the national team’s manager last summer.

“Al Wasl Sports Club has become synonymous with achievements of this calibre and we are very pleased to be welcoming Maradona to a long line of accolades in the club’s history,” he said.

“This partnership embodies the vision of the club as it embraces forward-thinking developments in the region to establish unprecedented standards for the sport.

“We are proud to be joining the ranks of international football with our latest endorsement of one of the greatest sports figures of all time.

“Maradona has led his teams to victory and his enormous contributions to our players will be influential in inspiring football legends among our own.

“We dedicate this paramount turn of events to our loyal fans and thank the inspiring leaders of Al Wasl Sports Club, who have been a beacon for what we can achieve and a catalyst for more success in the future.”

This managerial coup was achieved under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of Al Wasl Sports Club, and with the continued support of His Highness Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president of Al Wasl Sports Club.

The statement added: “Al Wasl Sports Club continues to flourish under the benediction of its prolific supporters, who persevere in encouraging football standards of an international level.”

Maradona is expected to be unveiled as Al Wasl’s new manager at a press conference in the first week of June, when exact details of his contract are expected to be revealed to the assembled global and regional media.

Bin Bayat did nonetheless disclose that the value of the deal is in line with somebody of Maradona’s standing in the game.

alex@khaleejtimes.com





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