In traveling to the United Arab Emirates this past December, Arzani Soccer not only sought to expand its global education of the Beautiful game, but also to fulfill a lifelong dream of every boy growing up in Argentina: meeting Diego Maradona. Director Nick Arzani traveled with Arzani Soccer staff coaches Richard Martinez and Federico Santiago and Mariano Cocoz to meet with Maradona, arguably the best footballer of all time, at his own home in Dubai. The gathering was facilitated by Diego Lopez Maradona, and quickly became a surreal experience as the coaches engaged in a straight-shooting conversation with the soccer god who captained and led Argentina to win the World Cup in 1986.
During a three-day stay in Dubai, Arzani and his fellow coaches eagerly listened to Maradona’s soccer experiences, anecdotes, and his view and reflection of the Davis Cup, recently won by Argentina. A special conversation Arzani remembers is when Maradona pointed out the importance of the formation of a player and how to transmit values to him. Maradona said hunger motivated him to grow as a player and stand out on the field. On this, he built his football personality. He also shared that playing in the pens defined his identity. Because he was exposed to fighting and frictions, it forced him to recognize his virtues and polish his limitations. More importantly, playing without the observation and pressure of his parents allowed him to play more freely and deploy his own spontaneous creativity.
Maradona is the legend whom others, like Lionel Messi, is compared to. Wearing the sacred Number 10, he had a long illustrious career in Argentina and Europe, and then channeled his passion for the game as a coach in Argentina. He moved to Dubai in 2011 to coach Al Wasl FC of the UAE pro league. Arzani hopes to share his experience of meeting his idol, and the insight into the mind of one of the greatest soccer legends, with young soccer players and help them to learn.