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02.01.2009 12:16

Maradona to return to Camp Nou

David Saura

After 25 years Diego Armando Maradona is returning to Camp Nou when he visits on Saturday as the coach of the Argentina national team to watch FC Barcelona take on Real Mallorca.

According to the Argentinian Football Association (AFA), the trainer will travel to la Ciutat Contal this weekend with his assistant, Alejando Mancuso. By watching Barça play Mallorca this weekend, Maradona will visit the stadium where he shone for two seasons between 1982 and 1984. This time though he will be in the presidential box and nowhere near the pitch.

Playing for Barça

MARADONA_x1984x001.jpgMemories will go back to 1982 when, following the World Cup Finals in Spain, the superstar completed his moved to FC Barcelona. During his two seasons with the Blaugeana, Maradona helped the club to win the Copa del Rey and the Copa de la Liga in 1982/83 and the Spanish Super Cup in 1983, but he was unable to guide the team to their first league title since 1974.

Maradona's last game in Camp Nou was on April 22, 1984 in the league against Espanyol. Despite the Blaugrana winning the game 5-2, the Argentinian star was sent off in the 37th minute by referee Pep Pérez. Curiously, in his last game in a Barça shirt, Maradona was also dismissed as the team lost in the Copa del Rey final in the SantiagoBernabéu against Athletic Club de Bilbao (1-0) on May 5.

During his first season at the club, Maradona suffered from hepatitis and then his second sesaon he incurred a bad ankle injury, but still managed to score 43 goals in 73 matches for César Menotti's team.

A year in Sevilla

After leaving Barça, Maradona signed for Napoli and became an iconic player in the Italian league. A move to Sevilla then followed, where he played for only one season (1992/93) under Carlos Bilardo. That season he did not play in Camp Nou though.
Maradona to return to Camp Nou
National team
In October 2008, Maradona was appointed as the head coach of the Argentina national team. His debut at the helm came against Scotland in Hampden Park when the visitors won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Maxi Rodríguez on November 19, 2008.

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