Diego Maradona will stay as Gimnasia coach until the end of the 2020-1 season, the club announced on Wednesday after extending its deal.
In September 2019, the 1986 World Cup hero arrived in La Plata with the club mired in relegation trouble having lost four and drawn one of their five opening games.
However, Gimnasia will remain in the Primera Division for the coming term after relegation due to a coronavirus pandemic that has been suspended.
And they’ll also boast Diego once again on the bench after agreeing with the Lobo to a one-year extension.
“You’re known as Pelusa, the Cosmic Kite, God, Diego, Diegote, Captain,” the club wrote on their official account on Twitter.
Maradona ‘s return to Argentina’s football, where he had previously coached with Deportivo Mandiyu and Racing Club during brief spells in 1994-5 and starred as a player for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys, caused a stir not only in Gimnasia but across the Superliga.
In the space of a few weeks, membership numbers at the Tripero rose by more than 5,000, while every away game was greeted with lavish tributes to the coach and standing ovations from the terraces.
Many clubs even went so far as to provide Maradona with a leather ‘throne’ to sit on and watch each game instead of the bench of substitutes.
Meanwhile on the pitch, the former Argentina, Dorados and Al-Wasl boss oversaw a modest improvement in La Plata after having suffered a rocky start with three consecutive defeats after taking over.
Gimnasia won six, drew five and lost 10 of their fixtures under Maradona, a run that lifted them to 19th position in the Superliga standings at the close of the season while keeping the club rooted to the bottom of the average point table that determines relegation.