Gimnasia Appoint Maradona as Head Coach

Reuters

Diego Maradona has returned to a managerial role in his native Argentina.

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata have appointed the 58-year-old as their new head coach, as they look to stave off relegation from the Superliga Argentina.

Maradona's lawyer Matias Morla said on Wednesday there was an "80 per cent chance" of an agreement being reached, and the Superliga strugglers confirmed a deal had been struck on Thursday.

Sebastian Mendez was announced as Maradona's assistant after Gabriel Batistuta declined the role due to an impending ankle operation.

Gimnasia are winless and bottom of the table after five games and will have to contend with the added pressure of trying to escape the league's complex relegation coefficient. 

 

Maradona left his role as manager of Mexican second-tier side Dorados in June due to health reasons, but offered assurances that he has fully recovered in an Instagram post earlier this week.

"I am in good health and of course it would be an honor for me to lead in my country," the former Argentina captain wrote. 

"In his last two teams [Maradona] managed to consolidate a clear and competitive playing style which led to him challenging for promotion to the highest divisions of their respective leagues," said a statement from Gimnasia.

"Welcome, Diego, to the most beautiful club in the world. We are happy to have you at Gimnasia."

Maradona – who led Argentina at the 2010 World Cup – also spent some time coaching in his homeland, leading Textil Mandiyu and Racing Club in 1994 and 1995, while he served as mental coach at Deportivo Riestra from 2013 to 2017.