Diego Maradona lands in Mexico to begin managing at Dorados de Sinaloa
Argentina football legend Diego Maradona has arrived in northern Mexico to begin his new job as head coach of second-tier Mexican soccer club Dorados de Sinaloa.
Maradona takes over a club in 13th position in the Ascenso MX and without a win in the opening six games of the 2018 Apertura.
Dorados have only managed two goals so far this season, but the 57-year-old is adamant that he can win promotion to Liga MX.
¡Diego ya está en Culiacán! Así fue la llegada del 'Pelusa': pic.twitter.com/yOzsE5K1sF— ESPN.com.mx (@ESPNmx) September 8, 2018
"We're going to work hard and ask for the collaboration of the players," Maradona told reporters on arrival at his hotel in Culiacan. "The first thing I'm going to say [to the players] is that the mission here is to get promoted to the first division, but you don't go up without making sacrifices."
Dorados made preparations for Maradona's arrival at Culiacan's airport by clearing a path from the exit to his awaiting vehicle, but fans and media swarmed him when he exited the terminal.
"I've always loved Mexican football," stated Maradona. "I wanted to come. Now I'm here and I think that's the main thing. I saw in the airport the warmth of the people here and that makes me happy."
Maradona's presentation and first training sessions at Dorados -- a club current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola played for in 2006 -- are scheduled for Monday, with his debut game next weekend against Cafetaleros de Tapachula in Culiacan.
The club's Twitter account posted multiple photos of Maradona arriving at the Culiacan airport draped in official club gear: a baseball hat with the Dorados logo and a scarf proclaiming "Always with you."
The photos were accompanied by messages like "The boss has arrived" and "Diego is home."
Maradona is one of the most recognizable names in international football, having led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship in Mexico with his infamous "Hand of God" goal.
Maradona has publicly struggled with substance abuse and will be leading a team that is in Mexico's drug-trafficking heartland.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.