Diego Maradona’s backroom staff at Gimnasia y Esgrima – the club he was manager of when he died – resign en masse after the Argentine’s death from a heart attack
- Gimnasia y Esgrima staff resigned en masse following Diego Maradona’s death
- Assistant coach Mendez had led the club since Maradona entered hospital
- The Gimnasia players have appealed for their next match to be postponed
The Argentine club coached by Diego Maradona at the time of his death faced another blow on Friday as the star’s backroom staff resigned en masse.
‘It is a decision we comprehend and shows the humanity of the group that worked so well with Diego Maradona,’ Gimnasia y Esgrima said in a statement.
Assistant coach Sebastian Mendez had led the club since Maradona entered hospital for brain surgery the first week of November and was expected to continue in place of the star, who died on Wednesday from a heart attack.
The Argentine club coached by Diego Maradona at the time of his death faced another blow on Friday as the star’s backroom staff resigned en masse
Gimnasia are scheduled to return to action on Saturday against Velez Sarsfield although the players have appealed for the match to be postponed.
The unheralded side are currently third in their four-team group in Argentina’s ongoing domestic competition, with five points from four games.
The world of football is in mourning as arguably its greatest ever player was laid to rest, following the announcement of his passing from a heart attack aged 60 on Wednesday.
Thousands of fans packed the streets around the presidential palace in Buenos Aires where Maradona lay in state on Thursday, and thousands more lined the highways in the afternoon to catch a glimpse of his hearse as it rolled past surrounded by police vehicles.
The coffin of the late Maradona is carried by his family and friends in Buenos Aires
The hearse carrying his casket drives to the cemetery watched by hordes of mourners
Football’s biggest names such as Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho have paid their respects to the former World Cup winner.
‘There is Maradona and there is Diego. Maradona I don’t need to speak about because the world knows and nobody will forget,’ Mourinho told BT Sport.
‘Diego is different, the people that are the big friends of him, the people that share dressing rooms with him, colleagues, these guys are privileged.
‘I can say he was a good friend of mine, but my contacts with him were by telephone and we met of course a few times.
‘He had a big, big, big, big heart. That’s the guy I miss, because his football we can find every time we miss him, if we Google we will find it. But Diego, no.’
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho paid tribute to his friend – pictured together in 2018
Maradona was revered at Napoli after a seven-year stay from 1984-1991 where he led the side to two Serie A titles and a UEFA Cup.
Thursday night, outside the stadium which is set to be renamed the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, thousands of fans laid flowers and sang the his name – and attacker Dries Mertens, who wears the No 10 shirt made infamous by the Argentine, was similarly emotional when speaking after Napoli’s 2-0 win.
‘It was an awful moment for me, so I can only imagine how those who lived through his time at Napoli must have felt,’ Mertens told Sky Sport Italia.
‘He made such a big impact on this city and for everyone in the south of Italy. I want to be positive, and focus on my memories of a smiling man who loved football.’
All the Napoli squad wore a ‘Maradona 10’ shirt before kick-off and Maradona’s face was shown on the big screen throughout the entire match.
The whole Napoli squad came out before the match wearing ‘Maradona 10’ shirts in tribute
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