What he said:
“If you are scared then don’t come and watch. You can stay at home and watch a comedy on DVD. Football is passion and entertainment.”
The Argentinean genius responds to criticism that the results he has achieved so far with his new employer—Al Wasl—are unsettling the team’s supporters.
Al Wasl is part of the 12-team UAE professional league.
Maradona signed a two-year contract with the Dubai team in May.
The league is just four years old and Al Wasl are yet to win a title.
Al Wasl were handed a 5-0 drubbing by Dubai Club in one of its warm-up games recently.
The club’s owners gave Maradona a vote of confidence in a public statement, “The season is long and this is just one match.We have full faith in our head coach who is working hard to develop a strong team that will be true contenders for the league title.”
The club is more than satisfied with the the recruitment of the stocky midfielder and its effect on the club’s international profile.
Club chairman Marwan bin Bayat spoke to Reuters:
There’s no doubt that ever since the appointment of Diego Maradona as head coach the name of Al Wasl has exploded on the worldwide radar.
In four months our followers on Twitter grew from 50 to 1'600 and we have received over 30'000 visitors to our website which is a 300 percent increase.
Can Diego Maradona turn around Al Wasl's fortunes?
If someone does not like me or has anything against me, it doesn’t really matter to me. I am with Al Wasl, I have a contract here and I will complete my contract to the last day. I will give my best at all times. After the 5-0 defeat, some people might think otherwise, but I don’t care about what they think. Al Wasl have probably one percent the budget of Arsenal and they lost 8-2 the other day [to Manchester United].
What he really meant:
“You can either watch comedy on DVD or watch me on the side-lines. Oh, I forget, one man’s comedy is another’s tragedy. Yes, I stick with my recommendation, ‘Stay home and watch comedy instead. I have the fans’ interests at heart’.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I’m the next Danny De Vito. Why isn’t Hollywood coming calling yet? Do I have lose that mop of hair?”