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Gimnasia La Plata

I hope Maradona doesn't call... you can't say no to Diego! - Dani Osvaldo

20:04 GMT+3 19/09/2019
Diego Maradona Gimnasia La Plata 2019-20
The former Italy international has not played since 2016 but says that he would struggle to turn down a return to action if the Gimnasia boss calls

Diego Maradona would be hard to resist, admits former Roma and Southampton man Dani Osvaldo, as speculation swirls over the retired striker’s potential return under the Argentine legend.

Former Italy internationa Osvaldol, who last played in 2016, has been out of the game since in order to focus on his music career with band Barrio Viejo.

But talk has emerged in recent days of the 33-year-old ending his self-imposed exile to play for Superliga outfit Gimnasia, who Maradona has taken charge of until the end of the season.

Speaking to ESPN Redes , Osvaldo has acknowledged that he is on edge over the possibility of a call from the Albiceleste legend, given that while he does not particularly envision a return to the game, he would not be able to turn the 58-year-old down.

“I hope he doesn't call me because you can't say no to Diego,” he stated . “It would put me in trouble.

“If he calls me, we'll see. For now, all I know is that on September 21 I'm playing with Barrio Viejo.”

Osvaldo, who won a Serie A title with Juventus while on loan from Southampton, and was capped 14 times by Italy, also weighed in on former Boca Junios boss Guillermo Barros Schelotto, with whom his falling out with effectively ended his career.

Having spent a loan spell with the club in 2015, he returned permanently in 2016, only to have his contract terminated in May after Schelotto caught him smoking in the dressing room.

“My exit from football was a circus,” Osvaldo added. “Who are you to tell me I can't smoke? My father?

“I smoked all my life and I still played for the Italian national team. He was a nefarious technician for Boca, but the rest of my experience at Bombonera was excellent."

In addition, Osvaldo spent spells with Espanyol and Porto throughout an often controversial career marked by incidents on and off the pitch.

Maradona, who was appointed on September 5 , took charge of Gimnasia in his first managerial role in his home country since he left the national team post almost a decade prior in 2010, and vowed to turn their fortunes around, stating: "We are going to fight it with the kids. God willing, Gimnasia is saved."

The club, who sit currently bottom of the Superliga, lost their first game under their new boss 2-1 to Racing on Sunday .