Al-Wasl chairman: Maradona aims for success in the Emirates By Ahmed Hafiz

Arab World Materials 18 May 2011 19:48 (UTC +04:00)
Football legend Diego Maradona accepted coaching the Dubai
Al-Wasl chairman: Maradona aims for success in the Emirates By Ahmed Hafiz

Football legend Diego Maradona accepted coaching the Dubai-based al-Wasl in hopes he can put the team on the sports map, according to club chairman Marwan Jumaa bin Bayat, dpa reported

Bin Bayat played a key role in the final details of the contract that secured Maradona as the team's new coach.

Under the deal, the Argentian will lead the team for the coming two seasons, will relocate to Dubai with his family, and has big aims.

"Maradona excepts nothing but first place. To him second place is like last place," bin Bayat told the German Press Agency dpa.

"He will ask of the team to do its best to reach the title."

Bin Bayat said that Maradona will soon look at possible new players for the team and at assistant coaches as well.

The board is studying a number of unique individuals who will best fit at the current stage and discussing it with Maradona.

"Maradona has not imposed any names on us, in fact he has been extremely understanding," bin Bayat told dpa.

"The same team of coaches who lead the Argentinian team during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa may not be the most appropriate for al-Wasl because the training and circumstances are quite different," said bin Bayat.

Al-Wasl's chairman said that Maradona will come to the United Arab Emirates in the beginning of June and hold a press conference to discuss the details of his new role.

Maradona will also discuss the financial details of his deal in the press conference, said bin Bayat, dismissing reports that the Argentinian may be risking his career with the new job.

"There is no way that Maradona will come to Dubai just for money at the expense of his reputation," said bin Bayat.

However, the chairman said the team's board of directors is receiving and studying "advertising and sponsorship offers from local and international companies to promote the team alongside Maradona's name."

"We are looking at what are the best offers coming in from around the world," said bin Bayat, who added that several companies are hoping to capitalize on Maradona's star power.

When asked why al-Wasl chose Maradona, when there are other coaches who have won titles, bin Bayat referred to the Argentinian's role in leading Argentina to the World Cup quarter-finals last year.

The United Arab Emirates has attracted big-name players, such as former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, who plays for al-Ahly in Dubai.