Diego Maradona will become the second highest paid coach in world football when he formally takes over as manager of UAE Pro League side Al Wasl next month.
The Argentine legend sent shockwaves throughout the football world last week when it was confirmed he had inked a two-year deal to become manager of the Dubai-based outfit.
Maradona, 50, has been out of the game for almost a year after leaving his post as Argentina boss following their quarter-final exit at the hands of Germany at the 2010 World Cup last summer.
But he has been coaxed back into the dugout by Al Wasl with the promise of free reign in reshaping his squad in his own image as well as untold riches with the UAE club paying their new man a whopping €12.25million a year, according to Spanish website sport.es.
If that is the case then only Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho can boast of earning more than the UAE new import with a staggering €13.5million annually. However, the claim has since been denied by Al Wasl officials on their Twitter account, with their unofficial page claiming the figure is in actual fact closer to €3.5million-a-year.
The Diego Maradona effect is already creating a buzz at Dubai-based Al Wasl, with players queuing up to join since the Argentine's appointment, according to the club's chief executive.
We are all over the world right now, Al Wasl Football Company chief Ashraf Ahmed Mohammed told www.sport360.com website on Sunday.
The coverage has been incredible. In the three years that we have been professional, many coaches have approached us with big CVs but I haven't seen anything like this. I think this is the talk of the world.
He added: We've had a lot of calls from different players wanting to join Al Wasl, but we don't want our excitement to overshadow reality. We will need quality and not quantity.
Maradona, the 1986 World Cup winning captain, will take charge of the seven-time UAE league winners next month.
For previous coaches we were only paying and not gaining, but with Maradona it's the other way around, Mohammed said.
There has to be professionalism, everything has to be professional and in place. Maradona says he doesn't want to be No. 2, only No. 1, and we have to be optimistic and pragmatic.
We know we want to be the best and must work towards that goal to be No. 1, not only in the UAE but in Asia as well.”
Mohammed added Maradona would get whatever resource he needed to achieve that goal.
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I reckon Al Wasl are very fortunate to have Maradona to give them a hand.May 24th, 2011 - 04:28 pm 0
He will need to be careful with the naughty salt there.May 25th, 2011 - 08:44 am 0