In Mexico, Maradona says off-pitch issues are in the past

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona says he has left his off-the-pitch issues behind.

Maradona was formally introduced Monday as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa. He was jovial and said he didn’t come to Mexico for a vacation.

Maradona said: “I came here to work, and I came to give my heart.”

The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with alcohol and drug addiction. His new club is located in a city considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug smuggling gangs.

Maradona said “we are all judged” and added, “How many people are there here who do worse things than us and don’t end up in any newspaper?”

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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