Maradona right to take a step down with Fujairah, says Crespo

Published September 28th, 2017 - 06:14 GMT
The Fujairah job is Maradona’s first assignment in five years
The Fujairah job is Maradona’s first assignment in five years

Former Argentina star forward Hernan Crespo says there is no shame in his compatriot Diego Maradona stepping down the divisions to revive his managerial career at Fujairah, and compared it to his own role at Parma.

The 56-year-old 1986 World Cup winner took charge of the UAE second-tier side in May and, despite their league season not starting yet, they did open with a 3-0 win away to Al Orouba in President’s Cup preliminaries on Friday.

The Fujairah job is the former Argentine coach’s first assignment in five years after Dubai’s Al Wasl sacked the ex-Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli forward in 2012.

“If you want to be a manager, you don’t think about the position, you think about the project, only this is important,” said Crespo, who is playing for the Chennai Singhams in the Premier Futsal finals at Al Wasl this week.

“Even for me, it’s not about that. Normally everybody wants to be a manager with a big club, but if it’s a good project, why not?

“I know that he’s very happy here and I’m happy he won his first match in the President’s Cup, that’s very important for him to get a good beginning and I hope that continues.”

Crespo, 42, is currently the vice-president of Italy’s Parma with whom he scored a club record 94 goals in 201 appearances over two spells either side of moves to Lazio, Inter Milan, Chelsea, AC Milan and Genoa.

Parma were demoted to Serie D after going bust in 2015 but have since worked their way back up to Serie B and are in the process of completing a takeover by new owners Desports Group owned by businessman Jiang Lizhang.

With Crespo in the side, Parma won the Uefa Cup in 1999 and the Argentine hopes to get them back to those heights as an administrator, or maybe even as a coach.

“I’m a vice-president now and we have a manager [Roberto D’Aversa], the owner wants me there, but at the same time I’m open to each and every single situation,” said Crespo, who briefly managed Italy’s Modena in 2015-16.

“The owner asked me to be vice-president but I will never forget to be a manager, because I’m studying so much and prepared for then.

“I have another position but my passion is football and I will never forget that I want to be a manager in the future.”

Of getting Parma back to Serie A and winning trophies again, he said: “We want to do it, but step by step. We have a new owner and will be closing this deal by the end of October. Once we close this deal only after that can we talk strategy and projects.”

By Ashley Hammond

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