Maradona on debut Bahrain visit
Manama, April 4, 2012
Football legend Diego Armando Maradona last night gave thumbs-up for the great hospitality and generosity of the Bahrain people on arrival at the Bahrain Airport.
The former Argentinean star striker is here in his capacity as manager of UAE club Al Wasl, which is due to play a crucial GCC Clubs Championship Group D tie against Riffa today at Khalifa Sports City.
The 51-year-old Argentinean, who named an 18-member squad for Riffa's match, was given a warm welcome on arrival by senior club officials, headed by soccer team manager Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, his deputy Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Khalifa, club vice-president Shaikh Ziyad bin Faisal Al Khalifa and board members.
"This is my first visit to Bahrain and ever since I reached Bahrain there were smiles everywhere and welcoming gestures for me and my team," Maradona told local media in a brief interview during a special ceremony at the Gulf Hotel late yesterday.
At this ceremony, organised by Riffa Club for the visiting delegation and their Argentinean head coach, Maradona also received a certificate of honorary membership by the Bahraini club representatives.
"We were overwhelmed by the kindness of football officials here who offered us all of their facilities, which made this trip so comfortable," said Maradona.
"I would like to thank Riffa Club and their president Shaikh Abdulla for their generous gesture and I am truly proud and honoured to have become a member of a club in Bahrain."
Maradona signed a two-year deal with Al Wasl after he was axed as coach of Argentina following their exit from the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals when they were comprehensively defeated 0-4 by Germany.-TradeArabia News Service