Many eyebrows were raised last week when Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, 57, took over as the new coach of a struggling second-tier Mexican club, the Dorados de Sonora, based in the city of Culiacan.
While the appointment might seem odd, given Mardona’s stature in the game — some regard him as the world’s best-ever player — there are several reasons why this collaboration might turn out to be a positive one.
Culiacan is acknowledged as a major center for drug trafficking, the home of the Sinaloa Cartel, once ruled over by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman. Over the years, Maradona has had his own battles with drugs, eventually “coming clean” some 15 years ago. Many in this country hope that as a reformed addict and once premier athlete, he could become a new role model to millions of young Mexicans in danger of heading down a life-threatening and dangerous path.