BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Diego Maradona has left his position as coach of Argentine side Gimnasia y Esgrima, bringing a premature end to yet another coaching job for the World Cup winner.
“This decision hurt me with all my soul,” Maradona said in a message posted on Instagram.
Maradona, who took over at the club in September, had said he would only continue if club president Gabriel Pellegrino stayed in his role following club elections.
Pellegrino, who announced Maradona’s departure on local radio station La Red on Tuesday, however, withdrew from the race when an electoral pact fell apart.
Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986 and is often referred to as one of the greatest players of all time, took over the club from La Plata, just outside Buenos Aires, charged with helping them avoid relegation.
He lost his first three games in charge and although he has won three of five since then, the team are still third-bottom of the league and in danger of going down.
“I felt that everyone together... were finding the way for Gimnasia to stay in the first division. This was the moment to keep going with the project and look for the necessary reinforcements,” Maradona said.
“I hope that whoever comes in to manage the club can continue with the work we started and keep Gimnasia where it belongs. I wish you all the best, with all my heart.”
Maradona’s departure repeats a well-worn theme in his coaching career. Of the six club sides he has managed, only one job lasted more than a year.
The only team he managed for longer was Al Wasl of the United Arab Emirates, where he remained for 14 months in charge in 2011-12.
His previous club job before returning to Argentina was at Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa, where he left in June after nine months in charge.
Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo, writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis