Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona was introduced as chairman of Belarusian group Dinamo Brest at a vivid gathering.
Maradona touched base in the nation in the wake of satisfying his part as a FIFA ambassador at the World Cup. He flew in by private jet and later marched through the roads on a huge jeep.
He demanded that his new role as president of first division Dinamo Brest seemed to be “intense” and said he hoped his presence would enable the nation’s sport “to show signs of improvement consistently”.
Dynamo Brest were rescued from insolvency two years back and have never won an league title.
It is accounted for until two or three years prior the club had so little money that supporters some of the time were approached to raise funds for team jerseys.
Yet, with the entry of another investor from the UAE, the club has won two local cups and plans to build another stadium with a capacity of 30,000 fans.
Maradona intends to move to Brest after parting company with Al-Fujairah FC where he was coach of the United Arab Emirates club.
The 57-year-old also expressed a wish to meet authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
“I have very good memories of Fidel Castro, (Hugo) Chavez and (Moamer) Kadhafi and I also know Putin,” the former Argentinian number 10 said at a news conference, listing late leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Libya and the current Russian president.
“Now I want to do a photograph with Lukashenko,” he said of the former collective farm boss who has ruled the ex-Soviet state with an iron grip since 1994.
Maradona added, “When I was small, I had no shoes and I walked barefoot. So I’m not afraid of snow. I can live in Belarus without any problems,” said the Argentinian, who grew up in a shantytown.
“We’ll try to create a team that will battle for the best places,” said the former Ballon d’or winner whose infamous “Hand of God” goal against England helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup.
“I am not afraid of the challenge, I am not afraid of the serious projects and these people seem very serious to me,” he said.
“I needed a challenge, an important project to show that I never stopped working.
“I take it with all the affection of the world, respecting the people who gave me this opportunity.
“We are going to have faith again, to grow together in harmony with a great team, taking the kids out of the academies to prove them and make them great, Maradona said.”