Diego Maradona, 57, has taken up new responsibilities as the coach for a Mexican club, Dorados. On Monday, he took charge of training for the first time since becoming manager of the club.
Maradona — whose former managerial roles include spells at Racing Club, Fujairah in the UAE and a two-year stint as boss of the Argentina national side — looked full of energy as he led his new team in a session watched by a group of excited fans.
Diego Maradona blew kisses to fans as he took charge of Dorados training for the first time.
He blew kisses to supporters at the start of the session and led the squad as they performed a version of the Viking Thunder Clap – made famous by the Iceland team at Euro 2016.
Maradona put his players through their paces in various fitness drills, but there were also activities that involved a football – and the 57-year-old was happy to join in with those.
He waved goodbye to fans at the end of training after taking off his shoes.
Dorados play in the second tier of Mexican football and their bid for promotion has not started well as they have taken just three points from their opening six games this season.
They play in Culiacan, which is also the home of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organisations.
But Maradona did not shy away from discussing his problems with substance abuse as he spoke in his first press conference as Dorados boss.
‘I’m taking on this responsibility as if it were a new child,’ Maradona told reporters in his first press conference as Dorados boss.
‘Ever since I kicked my illness 15 years ago, [when] I was wasting away. I want to explain to you that when I was using I was falling apart.
‘It was a step backwards and a footballer always has to go forward. That all stopped thanks to my daughters.
‘I was left without a cent, I went back to work, my youngest daughter, who was four, convinced me, she said I had experienced things with Dalma and not with her. When I was in a coma and she touched my bed sheet to wake me up.
‘Then I came out, and like everybody we are judged and we think we hold the truth, I wonder how many people there are here who have done worse things than us and they have not made the papers. I am here to work.
‘I am here to give my heart like I did in Fujairah, where I drove 300 kilometres a day to work. When you put down that the club has no titles, make sure you put in the promotion.’
Maradona’s appointment is expected to raise the profile of Dorados and the club shop is selling lots of ‘Diego No 10’ shirts.