The Mexico manager wants the best for the Argentina legend – as long as it doesn’t interfere with the path of his beloved Newell’s Old Boys
Mexico manager Tata Martino hopes things go well for Diego Maradona as the Argentina legend takes over Gimnasia in the Argentine SuperLiga – but not too well.
Martino, who won three titles with childhood club Newell’s Old Boys as a player and one as a manager, wants Maradona to succeed but not at the expense of the Rosario team he still supports.
“First, I want to say what I feel and I wish for him, that he gets all the good he deserves there and that he has a lot of success in his return to Argentine football as a manager,” Martino said in a news conference ahead of El Tri’s match Tuesday against Argentina. “That said, we’re rivals Newell’s and Gimnasia, so I love Diego a lot – but I don’t know if it’s that much.”
Maradona was welcomed by thousands of fans in La Plata in Buenos Aires province Sunday as he was presented as the club’s new boss. The team has just one point from five matches and sits at the bottom of the table.
The former No. 10 recently managed in Mexico, twice getting to the second-division final with Dorados de Sinaloa but finding himself outfoxed both times by Atletico San Luis, which won the lone promotion spot. He left after the Clausura citing health reasons but recently underwent knee surgery and says he’s ready to be on the sideline once again.
Martino coached Argentina to the 2015 Copa America final and the 2016 Copa America Centenario, leaving after that tournament and before the 2016 Olympics as the Argentina FA descended into chaos (an election for AFA president months later that was supposed to have 75 votes ended in a 38-38 tie).
The coach, who led Atlanta United in 2017 and 2018 before taking over Mexico, said things in his native country look to be returning to normal thanks in part to legendary coach Cesar Luis Menotti’s leadership as director of national teams.
“On the national level, what I see is that things are much more normal,” Martino said. “Cesar is there as a manager, there’s a stable coaching staff, in the youth ranks they’re working really well, there’s been a coordinator for a while there.”
Mexico has won every match it has played under Martino, an 11-match streak it will put on the line Tuesday against Argentina with kickoff set for 10:06 p.m. ET.
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