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 presents, together with a portray of himself taking part in for Newell’s, a chunk of art work of his face, a personalized 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 in fact signed and sat on as an alternative 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, quite than a aggressive Argentine first division conflict — however it was most actually the latter.
Maybe all of the pre-match fawning grew to become a distraction for the house aspect, as Newell’s — in competition for the title after 10 video games — suffered a shock 4-Zero defeat to relegation-threatened Gimnasia, solely its second win of the season.
Maradona took over the ailing aspect in September and after overseeing three consecutive defeats, he has since guided the crew to 2 wins in its final three matches.