Maradona on the verge of winning first silverware as coach
Al Wasl chairman Marwan Bin Bayat is anticipating worldwide reaction to Diego Maradona’s potential first title as a coach, should his team see off Bahrain’s Al Muharraq at home on Sunday to claim the GCC Champions League.
Maradona has formerly coached Argentinian clubs Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club de Avallaneda, plus the national team in his four years doing the job.
But despite an illustrious playing career which saw him claim the 1986 World Cup, none of his coaching tenures have earned him any silverware to date.
Wasl have recently reported global media exposure worth Dh333 million with stories featuring the club, Dubai and UAE up 1,600 per cent since Maradona joined in May 2011. But all of this would pale in comparison to the club being immortalised forever on the legend’s managerial CV.
Bin Bayat, whose aim it is to put Wasl on the sporting map, said he expected a spike in global interest to re-occur should the club do the honours on Sunday and make the best of their 3-1 advantage heading into the home tie.
“It would definitely be great for both Al Wasl and Diego Maradona if we were to lift the title,” he said.
“Not only would it be Maradona’s first trophy as a coach, and hopefully the first of many with Al Wasl, it would also be the second time since 2010 that we’ve lifted the GCC Champions League.
“Of course, this would definitely bring added value both to his CV and our football club’s rich history.”
Bin Bayat added of the match: “We came with big hopes of a positive result in the first leg looking to at least score an away goal to take advantage for the return fixture.
“The players were focused on this match and took advantage in the last quarter especially after Rashid Eisa came on as substitute. The midfield then enabled us to open the door.
“It’s a cushion but I’ve told them we have to win the next match, we cant draw or lose at home we must win to complete the celebration and we hope all football fans can join us in Zabeel on Sunday for support.”