The Argentine club managed to secure the perfect tribute for their iconic manager
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata won their first match since the death of head coach and football legend Diego Maradona.
Argentina and Napoli great Maradona – arguably football’s greatest ever player – died of natural causes at the age of 60 on Wednesday.
Maradona was buried in a private funeral at the Jardines de Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires after thousands gathered on the streets of the capital to mourn the 1986 World Cup winner on Thursday.
Gimnasia were the first team Maradona had led in his homeland since the mid-1990s after taking charge of the Liga Profesional club last year.
On Saturday, Gimnasia defeated Velez Sarsfield 1-0 away from home on an emotional night. Maximiliano Coronel’s 22nd-minute goal settled the contest in Buenos Aires, where Gimnasia ended a three-match winless streak.
With the victory, Gimnasia surpassed Velez atop Group Six on goal difference through five matchdays.
The win came after Maradona’s coaching staff resigned following his death. Sebastian Mendez – Maradona’s assistant coach – had taken over on an interim basis after the former Barcelona attacker was hospitalised earlier this month.
Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.
The captain and inspiration behind Argentina’s World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, Maradona had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.
Maradona – who also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico – appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.
“Club Esgrima y La Plata announces with great regret that the coaching staff that accompanied Diego Armando Maradona has decided to resign from their respective positions, irrevocably,” a statement read.
“This is a decision that our club understands and one that demonstrates the human quality of the entire work group that Diego Maradona had formed, and that had been developing their work so well.
“The ‘Tripero’ people thanks you with all their hearts for the work done, the effort and the commitment shown.
“Diego Maradona’s era and his work team are already an important part of the history of our club. Diego left as one more ‘Tripero’, as did all of you.”