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Heinze asks fans to ‘applaud’ Maradona

Heinze asks fans to ‘applaud’ Maradona

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 14: Former Manchester United and Real Madrid defender Gabriel Heinze has urged Argentine football fans to “stand up and applaud” Diego Maradona as the Albiceleste legend begins his new role as manager of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, reports Xinhua. Maradona will take charge of Gimnasia for the first time on Sunday in a home clash against Racing Club in the Argentine Superliga. It is the 58-year-old’s first coaching job in his homeland since leaving his post as Argentina’s national team boss in 2010. “Wherever he goes, in all of the stadiums, I hope people to stand up and applaud him,” Heinze, who is now the manager of Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield, told reporters on Friday. “What he brings [to football] is unique. There is no other person in the world like him. It makes me very happy to see him back in football, where he belongs. It’s good for Argentine football,” added Heinze, who ended his playing career in 2014 and became a manager the following year. Maradona was appointed Gimnasia’s head coach last week after agreeing to a contract that runs until the end of the 2019-20 Argentine Superliga season next May. Gimnasia are currently last in the 24-team Superliga standings with one win and four losses from five matches this season. Dario Ortiz quit as manager last Sunday after the team’s 1-0 loss to Argentinos Juniors. Maradona, who ended an 11-month spell as head coach of Mexican second division side Dorados in June, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history and almost single-handedly led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexic In recent years, the former Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors No. 10 has been beset by poor health, including problems related to a long-battle with drug and alcohol abuse.

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