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

Mexico Soccer Maradona

Former soccer great Diego Maradona, sitting, talks to his players on the pitch at the Dorados de Sinaloa soccer club stadium, after Maradona was presented as the new manager of the Dorados in Culiacan, Mexico, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Maradona, whose public battles with cocaine made him soccer’s poster child for the perils of substance abuse, is setting up camp in Mexico’s drug cartel heartland as the new coach of a second-tier team. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

AP

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

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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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