Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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SPORTS | 19-11-2019 16:13

Maradona has quit as coach of Gimnasia, club confirms

Reports suggest departure linked to an imminent management shake-up at La Plata club, with footballing legend apparently in demand from other Superliga clubs.

Diego Maradona has quit as coach of Superliga side Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, less than three months after taking over, the club announced on Tuesday.

"Maradona is no longer the Gimnasia coach," club president Gabriel Pellegrino said on Argentina's Radio La Red.  

"He said he was here to add to things, not to divide," was Pellegrino's explanation for the World Cup-winner's decision.

"Maradona stopped working today. Against Arsenal, the coach will be [Mariano] Messera,” he said.

Reports in Argentina suggested Maradona's departure was linked to an imminent management shake-up at the club in La Plata, 50 kilometres from Buenos Aires. 

The 59-year-old former Argentina captain and coach took over at Gimnasia in early September, when it was bottom of the 24-club Superliga. 

Hailed as a hero on his return to Argentine football after years coaching abroad, Maradona had a limited impact in La Plata.

Gimnasia won three of its eight matches with him in charge, all of them away from home. His team shipped five losses, four of them at home.

His last match in charge was the 3-0 win over second-bottom Aldosivi last weekend which lifted Gimnasia 22nd in the 24-team league.

The former Argentina coach quit Mexican second division outfit Dorados in June for health reasons after just nine months in charge.

Maradona's appointment at Dorados the previous September had been a surprise, despite his inglorious coaching history since leaving the Argentine national team post following the 2010 World Cup.

He has also coached second division Emirati sides Al-Wasi and Fujairah.

As a player, the former Barcelona and Napoli forward guided his country to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and to the final in Italy four years later.

Rocio Oliva, Maradona's girlfriend, said on Fox Sports that he had already received offers from two other Superliga clubs. One of the clubs rumoured to be interested, Argentinos Juniors, denied the reports.

– AFP/PERFIL

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