Former Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona is back in Dubai as Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai.
He signed a one-year agreement with the Dubai Sport Council (DSC) after being unveiled at a press conference held at the Burj Khalifa's Armani Hotel on Sunday.
The Argentine football legend will be employed to play a positive role in driving greater participation in sports in Dubai and also to continue bringing more world-class sporting events to Dubai.
Maradona was appointed as per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of DSC.
“Dubai Sports Council and I have discussed a few ideas regarding what should be done in the coming period in the field of sports to discover new talents in the coming generation of local athletes. This was the greatest incentive for me to accept this mission," said the 51-year-old World Cup winner.
“Hosting successful global sporting events has put Dubai on the global sports map, and I trust that this will help to encourage more home-grown stars to come out and challenge the rest of the world.”
DSC Secretary General Dr Ahmed Al Sharif said: “There is no doubt that Maradona is a successful example of what sports can do to a talented individual if he shows dedication, keeps developing his talent and represents his country with honour.
“With such an international position and great talent, he can do more than anyone else can do - he can reach the new generation of talented athletes and motivate them to shine and achieve greater success.”
Al Sharif added: “Maradona’s accomplishments have inspired the world. We trust that, through his work as a sports ambassador, he will contribute in inspiring the new generation of talented players to pursue the path of training and persevere to reach the highest social and athletic levels possible.”
At the beginning of the press conference, the attendants congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for the individual gold medal won at the World Endurance Championships and for leading the UAE team to a third win at the World Endurance Championships.
Dr Al Sharif confirmed that the Council was keen on leveraging the name and affinity for Maradona in Dubai and internationally.
Maradona, expressed his happiness towards taking on this task which enables him to stay in Dubai which is the city he has come to love.
He said that his wish is to support the great efforts already exerted and to be a part of the greater efforts that will be exerted in the coming period, to develop sports in Dubai.
Maradona asserted he would be starting work in his new capacity as Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai immediately, and that he would exert every bit of effort to succeed in this new mission.
He also said he would dedicate his time and experiences in the world of sports to succeed in this task, which he deems an opportunity to express his love for the people of UAE, who are passionate sports fans and to support the leadership in making Dubai a strong sporting destination.