Sport | Football

Spiderman El Diego's luck charm

Napoli's victory and grandson's gift a boon for Al Wasl coach

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 13:01 May 22, 2012
  • Gulf News

Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona with his son-in-law and Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero
  • Image Credit: ARSHAD ALI/Gulf News
  • Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona with his son-in-law and Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and grandson Benjamin. Maradona said he is hoping a Spiderman mask he got as a gift from young Benjamin will be the team’s lucky charm today against Qatar’s Al Khor.

Dubai: Diego Maradona is convinced that a Spiderman mask gifted to him by his grandson Benjamin and Napoli's win against Juventus in the Coppa Italia on Sunday will bring Al Wasl the luck needed to win Wednesday's GCC Champions League semi-final first leg against Qatar's Al Khor.

Maradona watched Napoli - the club where he is still worshipped as a hero following his hugely successful spell there between 1984 and 1991 - defeat Juventus 2-0 in the Coppa Italia final along with his grandson Benjamin, who has since left for Argentina with his father Sergio Aguero, of Manchester City.

"Watching a football match in which my favourite Napoli defeat arch-rivals Juventus is something great due to the rivalry that exists between the two teams. But to watch such a match with my grandson is a dream - it is something so special and I doubt any of you will understand the feeling as I doubt any of you are grandfathers yet," Maradona told media late on Monday.

"I am hoping this [Spiderman] mask will be our lucky charm.

"Like any great team, Al Wasl is always eager to achieve victory in every competition that we participate. Napoli's win against Juventus is part of a long rivalry between the two Italian clubs. And this rivalry started ever since I was with Napoli.

"I want to see the same sort of transformation and evolution happening at Al Wasl. Just like Napoli, Al Wasl too have been building and evolving and that is the reason why I am constantly sitting with the club management and trying to find ways and means to achieve the same sort of results for Al Wasl."

And Maradona claimed he was confident heading into Al Wasl's two-legged semi-final against Al Khor. "As a team we are fully prepared for this encounter and we have worked very hard to be here. In the past few days I have watched videos of Al Khor and know that they like to keep possession of the ball. So our task will be to make sure we do not allow them to control the match," he said.

"We realise that [Brazilian midfielder] Julio Cesar is their danger player and we will do everything to stop him," he said.

Gulf News
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