Diego Maradona’s agent attempted to secure the late football legend a Premier League manager’s job at Aston Villa nearly 13 years ago. Although Maradona had never played or managed in England, he was reportedly “very open” to the idea. At the time, Maradona had just managed Argentina at the 2010 World Cup and was represented by Walter Soriano in Europe. Soriano told the Sunday Mercury that Maradona would be “very attracted” to English football and the way of life in the country. He added that Maradona loved the English countryside and the respect for privacy, making him a good fit for a big club like Aston Villa. Soriano also stated that Maradona was in talks with a number of clubs in Europe, including one in England, about a management role and was carefully considering his options.
However, Aston Villa denied any interest in appointing Maradona to replace Martin O’Neill, who had just left Villa Park after four years in charge. The club went on to appoint ex-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier, who passed away just weeks after Maradona in December. Houllier lasted less than a year, and his replacement Alex McLeish only lasted one year as well.
Maradona instead took up a job with Dubai-based Al Wasl in 2011 but was sacked the following summer. He then went back to the Middle East in 2017 to manage Fujairah after four years as an assistant at Argentine side Deportivo Riestra. However, he was only there for one year before heading to Mexico to manage Dorados de Sinaloa. Maradona’s last job as a manager was in Argentina with Gimnasia de La Plata before he passed away following a heart attack.
Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, having led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He also played for clubs including Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Napoli, winning numerous titles and accolades throughout his career. However, he also had a controversial personal life and struggled with addiction and health issues.
Despite never managing in the Premier League, Maradona’s legacy continues to inspire football fans around the world. His agent’s attempt to secure him a job at Aston Villa highlights the impact he had on the sport and the interest he generated from top clubs. While Maradona never got the chance to manage in England, his talent and passion for the game will always be remembered.