Maradona in line for UAE job

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IOL pic may17 soccer diego maradona uae AFP (File image) Diego Maradona

Abu Dhabi - Diego Maradona could return to international soccer, as the Argentine is being considered for the vacant United Arab Emirates head coaching job.

The new president of the UAE Football Association, Yousuf Al Serkal, said on Wednesday the 51-year-old was among the leading candidates for the position.

Maradona, who won the World Cup as a player in 1986 and coached his national side to the quarter-finals of the 2010 edition in South Africa, is currently working at the Al Wasl club in Dubai.

“As Maradona is within the family of UAE football, we can't neglect or overlook such a name,” Al Serkal said.

“We will have to consider him.

“Whether we like it or not, his name will always be a great influence (but) we have a few names including Mahdi Ali, our local coach of the Olympic squad.”

The UAE has been without a head coach since Srecko Katanec was sacked last year following successive defeats in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifying matches.

Maradona is in the middle of a two-year deal with Al Wasl and while the club has failed to win any silverware since he took charge, he has led them to the Gulf region's Champions League semi-finals.

Maradona said last week he was “happy and proud to have been linked with the national team job.”

“Whoever will be chosen at the end of the day by the (UAE) FA will be the right choice based on their judgement,” he added. - Reuters

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