'I was wasting away' - Maradona talks about cocaine addiction in Dorados introduction

Diego Maradona Dorados 100918Getty

New Dorados coach Diego Maradona laid bare his battle against cocaine addiction as he was presented for the first time at the Mexican club. 

Maradona, who has previously had coaching spells with the likes of Argentina, Al-Wasl, Racing and Deportivo Mandiyu, was named Dorados' latest boss last week.

The Argentine legend and 1986 World Cup winner will be tasked with securing promotion for the team, who have been marooned in Mexico's second division since 2016.

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The location of Diego's new club has caused a stir among observers, with their hometown of Culiacan notorious as the home of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world's most powerful drug trafficking organisations and formerly under the command of the infamous Joaquin 'Chapo' Guzman, now awaiting trial in the United States.

But Maradona did not shy away from his problems with substance abuse while pledging to give his all for Dorados.

"I'm taking on this responsibility as if it were a new child," the 57-year-old told reporters in his maiden press conference.

"Ever since I kicked my illness 15 years ago, [when] I was wasting away. I want to explain to you that when I was using I was falling apart.

"It was a step backwards and a footballer always has to go forward. That all stopped thanks to my daughters.

"I was left without a cent, I went back to work, my youngest daughter, who was four, convinced me, she said I had experienced things with Dalma and not with her. When I was in a coma and she touched my bedsheet to wake me up. 

"Then I came out, and like everybody we are judged and we think we hold the truth, I wonder how many people there are here who have done worse things than us and they have not made the papers. I am here to work. 

"I am here to give my heart like I did in Fujairah, where I drove 300 kilometres a day to work. When you put down that the club has no titles, make sure you put in the promotion."

Maradona also utilised a curious animal-related metaphor to describe the magnitude of his task at Dorados, who currently lie a lowly 13th in the second tier having failed to win any of their six opening fixtures.

"It is up to us to carry an elephant on our shoulders and that is not easy," he added.

"I do not hide, I don't kill and I don't lie." 

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