Diego Maradona has had quite the summer from being declared dead at the World Cup to being paraded atop a military vehicle in Belarus
In a World Cup year it’s difficult to take the focus off the events of football’s greatest tournament during the summer months but step forward Argentina’s shrinking violet, Diego Maradona, who has ensured that his name has never been far away from the headlines.
The controversial World Cup winner was recently presented in typically low-key fashion atop a military vehicle in Belarus as he prepares to undertake his position as chairman of club side, Dinamo Brest.
Maradona recently left his role as coach of UAE club Al Fujairah after missing out on promotion but not out of work for long, the rejuvenated Brest club, backed by an investor from the UAE, turned to the Argentinian icon.
What an entrance 😂
Diego Maradona has arrived in Belarus for his new job!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 16, 2018
Since the verge of bankruptcy in 2016, Dinamo have now won two cup competitions and have plans for a new stadium but Maradona is the real centerpiece to this ambitious project.
“I am not afraid of the challenge, I am not afraid of the serious projects and these people seem very serious to me. I needed a challenge, an important project to show that I never stopped working,” Maradona told reporters.
Presumably a lucrative contract provided just as motivation as the challenge as it did in the UAE but the man of the people was given a suitably heroic welcome in Belarus this week.
This coming after Maradona topped up his bank account as one of FIFA’s ambassadors in Russia.
And what an ambassador he was.
Argentina’s opener against Iceland saw a wanton disregard for the no smoking rule within the stadium as Maradona sparked up a Cuban cigar in his box and things only went downhill from there.
Eso fue la Biblia 📖😇 de todo lo viral en Internet. Pero creo que lo que tuvo más memes fue el Drogo de Maradona. Un solo día de espectáculo lo marco de por vida. pic.twitter.com/FFUhjD0mqP
— Mercado Goblin 🇵🇪✈🇻🇪 (@orcos21528) July 16, 2018
The accusation of a racist gesture towards some supporters and the middle finger celebrations after Argentina’s late winner over Nigeria during a performance from the stands that produced a thousand memes and managed to overshadow events on the pitch plus the claim that Colombia were the victims of a robbery after defeat to England.
All prompted swift apologies but it was his collapse and subsequent medical attention after the Nigeria game that really caught the headlines and when ludicrous reports circulated that Maradona had died, the former number ten put a bounty on the head of the reporter who started the lie.
La Albiceleste’s brief and disastrous run in Russia prompted Maradona to say, “I was ashamed. It was very sad seeing the Argentina team’s aimless wandering,” and the former coach even offered to return for free.
Thankfully even after Jorge Sampaoli’s sacking the AFA haven’t turned to Maradona and so it hasn’t stopped the 57-year-old weighing in further.
President Claudio Tapia and the ‘corrupt’ AFA have felt the wrath of Diego and even Javier Zanetti for offering to help received both barrels.
The pair haven’t seen eye to eye since Maradona’s spell in charge and time obviously hasn’t healed any scars.
“He always offers to do everything. They need an Inter President and he’s there first, a fitness coach is needed and he’s there. You need a player and he’s on the bench.
“I don’t like that attitude,” Maradona said, seemingly unaware that he made a similar offer.
Things are never dull where Maradona is concerned and while there will likely be plenty more opinion on Argentina’s situation post-Sampaoli for now all eyes will be on Belarus of all places to see what Diego does next.