Can Dorados benefit from the ‘Hand of God?’
Dorados, who play in the Mexican second division (Ascenso MX), are in 13th (out of 15 teams) position in the league, not having won a single game in the opening six matches of the 2018 Apertura tournament, providers of internet betting in Mexico report.
However, Maradona remains confident he can turn things around for the struggling Culiacan side – located in the northwestern part of Mexico. The 57-year-old outlined the immediate goals of the club, and that is gain promotion to the first division (Liga MX), while adding that he was always attracted to Mexican football, especially since there is no language barrier for him to perform at his best.
“We’re going to work hard and ask for the collaboration of the players,” said the Argentine legend. “The first thing I’m going to say (to the players) is that the mission here is to get promoted to the first division, but you don’t go up without making sacrifices.”
“I’ve always loved Mexican football. I wanted to come. Now I’m here and I think that’s the main thing. I saw in the airport the warmth of the people here and that makes me happy.”
Maradona, who is often talked about in the media for his outlandish persona, was embroiled in several controversies over the last summer, which saw him cause well-documented obscene scenes during the 2018 World Cup. Let’s see if Dorados can bring out the genius of Maradona, instead of the wine-binging, middle-finger-flashing, villain-like character that was on full display in Russia last summer.
The complexity of the Mexican league
The way the Mexican championship (Liga MX) works is that it’s split into two tournaments each season – the Torneo Apertura and the Torneo Clausura. The former commences in the summer (starts middle of July and lasts until middle of November), while the latter begins in the winter (starts in January and ends middle of May), but each of the two tournaments are played by the same 18 teams of the Mexican league.
In both the Apertura and the Clausura, eight of the top teams qualify for the playoffs (also known as liguilla). This is where teams can no longer rely on arithmetic that’s present in the points-system of a league, but rather have to battle each other in the knockout style, from the quarter-finals to the finals themselves. Make sure to bet on Liga MX with online sportsbooks in Mexico before the Apertura season is over.
Since the Mexican league is split into two tournaments, there can be two different champions each season, although it seems that winning the Clausura is sometimes more valued by the fans, perhaps because it is the more recent championship.
Maradona previously managed five sides, including the Argentina national team between 2008 and 2010; this is where he enjoyed his biggest winning percentage in his managerial career – 73.68%. The Argentine legend then took up the reigns of Emirati side Al Wasl from 2011 to 2012, but then decided to go on a sabbatical for five years before returning to management in April 2017 with another Emirati club, Fujairah, but once again his employment was short-lived as he left 12 months later, with a winning percentage of 52.30%.