Argentina legend Diego Maradona has lamented the loneliness of staying home amid Covid-19 pandemic and says he can’t wait to return to his coaching routine at Argentinian Primera Division side, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.
Football in Argentina has been paused since March 16 because of Coronavirus pandemic, and with the authorities yet to announce the dates for the return of the competitions, Maradona is finding the hiatus increasingly boring.
The 59 year old former Napoli superstar admits that he is missing his players and quips that reuniting with them after the pandemic will be akin to meeting a girlfriend after a vacation. He is also longing to see Gimnasia fans once again.
“It is a strange situation that we are in here and all over the world,” Maradona told Argentine newspaper El Dia de La Plata.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Estancia Chica [Gimnasia’s training ground] to work with my boys again. It will be like when you see your girlfriend after a vacation,” Xinhua News Agency also quoted Maradona as saying.
Maradona who led Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup says he has special connection with Gimnasia fans as the have a lot in common with Napoli fans during his days in the Series A club from 1984 to 1991.
“I have a beautiful relationship with the (Gimnasia) fans. They remind me of Napoli’s supporters because of their passion and loyalty,” he said.
Maradona remains very ambitious to lead Gimnasia to safety, away from relegation in their current campaign. The club hired him in September 2019 for what looked like a rescue mission when they were at the bottom rung of the Primera Division table.
With Maradona in the driving seat, Gimnasia finished the 2019/2020 Argentine top flight regular season 19th in the 24-team table. However, their relegation fight is continuing in the Copa de la Superliga where all the Primera Division teams are pooled in two groups of 12 apiece.
The Argentine leagues’ promotion/relegation system assesses clubs’ points haul over
three-year cycle in both the regular season [Primera Division] and the Copa de la Superliga. The three clubs with the poorest three-year averages are relegated to the second-tier Primera Nacional.
Maradona added: “With the work we were doing, I had no doubt that we were going to get out of the relegation zone.
“We still have to wait and see what measures the AFA will take. We will work hard to make sure that we’re prepared for any possible scenario.”
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