AAP Soccer

Maradona quits coaching role in Mexico

By AAP Newswire

Diego Maradona is to leave his job as coach of Mexican side Dorados de Sinalao on the advice of his doctor, the Argentine's lawyer said on Thursday.

The Argentine took the coaching job of the second division side from Mexico's north-west in September 2018 - amusing sceptics who questioned why the 1986 World Cup champion, who has publicly battled various addictions, would move to a place better known for drug cartels than football.

But he answered his critics by coaching the struggling club to back-to-back finals appearances that brought them tantalizingly close, but not quite, to their dream of winning promotion to the first division.

"On doctor's advice he will dedicate his time to his health and have two operations, on his shoulder and his knee," Matias Morla wrote on Twitter.

"We thank the entire Dorados family and we'll continue this dream another time."

58-year-old Maradona is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, putting the small club in the spotlight and they paid tribute to him on Twitter.

"Thank you for everything, Diego!" tweeted the club.

"Together we surprised the world.

"We showed that football is passion and heart. Thanks for everything boss. Get well and we'll see you soon."

Maradona had said in April that he planned to leave the club at the end of the season, alleging the league's referees were biased against him.

The controversies that marked his career were not lacking from his time at the club.

The Mexican Football Federation fined him an unspecified amount for violating its apolitical ethics code by praising Venezuela's leftist President Nicolas Maduro in a post-match press conference in March.

And security guards had to restrain a violent, swearing Maradona from attacking jeering fans of opposing team Atletico San Luis in December after Dorados lost the season finals to them in extra time.

The dream of winning a title as coach still eludes him, after stints managing the Argentine national team and various clubs in Argentina, the Middle East and now Mexico.