Diego Armando Maradona has been hired to coach Mexican second-division club Dorados de Sinaloa, it was announced on Thursday. The appointment of the 1986 World Cup winner, was confirmed in a statement on the club’s official website.
"Dorados of Sinaloa is pleased to announce Diego Armando Maradona is the new manager of the 'Big Fish,'' the statement read. "Considered by many to be the best footballer of all time, Diego was known in his playing career for leading teams with guts and fight to carry them to successes that few believed possible."
Maradona takes the reins from Ramírez
Dorados – nicknamed The Big Fish – are currently in 13th position in the 15-team Ascenso MX, the country’s second division. Earlier on Thursday, the club fired Paco Ramírez, who’s considered a legend for Dorados. He was tactician when the team won the Copa MX in 2012, Dorados’ only major trophy.
FOTO Cuauhtémoc Blanco levanta la Copa MX con Dorados: 2-2 (4-5 en penales sobre Correcaminos) pic.twitter.com/yqq9Bg5h— La Afición (@laaficion) 1 November 2012
Welcome to the Big Fish
Dorados de Sinaloa were formed in 2003. Perhaps, the club is best remembered for being Pep Guardiola’s final destination as a player before he hung up his boots for good in 2006. It has also been the home of Mexican legends Jared Borgetti and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Talking about Maradona's appointment, Dorados president Jorge Hank said: “In my conversations with him he’s been very excited to come coach here. Honestly, it was easier to convince him than I thought.”
As a player, El Pelusa scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina. Notably, he captained the team that won the 1986 World Cup. He had a moderately successful spell as national coach of La Albiceleste between 2008 and 2010, leading the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Maradona’s spell at Sinaloa will be his sixth in management. He had short (and widely unproductive) stints at clubs in Argentina and the United Arab Emirates. He is expected to take charge at the club’s upcoming league game against Cafetaleros de Tapachula on 15 September.
Mexico’s infamous second division
Currently, the team is aiming to return to Mexico’s top division, on which they last played at the 2015/16 season. Due to infrastructure regulations, only six of the 15 teams competing in the country’s second division - known as Ascenso MX - can be promoted, a measure that is considered widely impopular in Mexico.
Dorados is among those six teams
Last season’s champions, Cafetaleros de Tapachula, were forced to stay in the Ascenso MX as they did not meet the first division regulations.