The Argentine soccer legend obtained a hero’s welcome Tuesday on his return to former membership Newell’s Previous Boys — for which he solely performed a handful of video games within the twilight of his profession — regardless of arriving because the coach of opposition crew Gimnasia.
Earlier than the match, Maradona was offered with an array of items, together with a portray of himself enjoying for Newell’s, a bit of art work of his face, a custom-made captain’s armband with the phrase “Dios” (God) written on it — the ‘i’ and ‘o’ changed along with his well-known No. 10 — and a membership shirt.
Not forgetting a throne emblazoned along with his face, which he after all signed and sat on as a substitute of the bench.
The welcome Maradona obtained from Newell’s followers would have been sufficient to make a rock star blush, because the 42,000 capability crowd contained in the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa sang his title and supplied a rhythm to which he obligingly danced.
“The pearls of Newell’s tribute that made Diego Maradona cry,” wrote Argentine on-line information web site Infobae.
With a play on town title of Rosario, the house of Newell’s, Newspaper La Nacion mentioned: “A Rosary of feelings: Newell’s tribute, Diego Maradona’s tears and the autographed throne.”
You would be forgiven for assuming this was an exhibition match or a testimonial, relatively than a aggressive Argentine first division conflict — nevertheless it was most definitely the latter.
Maybe all of the pre-match fawning grew to become a distraction for the house facet, as Newell’s — in competition for the title after 10 video games — suffered a shock Four-Zero defeat to relegation-threatened Gimnasia, solely its second win of the season.
Maradona took over the ailing facet in September and after overseeing three consecutive defeats, he has since guided the crew to 2 wins in its final three matches.