Dubai: It’s little wonder Diego Maradona chose to stay on in Dubai as an Ambassador for Dubai Sports Council given his love for the emirate.
Before he left Al Wasl and signed up for the role of endorsing Dubai and promoting the city’s sporting prospects to the world, Maradona said: “It’s a great place for me. It’s a great place to stay. I didn’t come here just to finish the month, get my salary and that’s it. No. That’s not who I am. It’s not my personality. I live the game and from the moment it’s finished, I am already thinking of the next one.
“Today, they can tempt me from many places. But Dubai has given me tranquillity, serenity, work, stability, I’m close to my grandson, my daughter can come to visit whenever she wants and I can visit my father in my holidays. If I look back on my life, I have found paradise. In Italy, it was impossible for me to live in Naples. I could not find peace.”
He added: “That’s why I am saying, ‘I’m strapping on the seat belt. The other coaches can just go by and put their tickets away because I am not leaving here’. I’m not just passing by Dubai, for those who don’t know it, it’s their loss because they said in two months he wouldn’t adapt. But we found Disney World for adults here. How are you not going to have fun here? This is Dubai.”
Commenting on Maradona, Ahmad Al Sharif, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council said: “There is no doubt that Maradona is a successful example of what sports can do to a talented individual if he shows dedication, keeps developing his talent and represents his country with honour.
“With such an international position and great talent, he can do more than anyone else can do — he can reach the new generation of talented athletes and motivate them to shine and achieve greater success.”