'The handpass of God': Diego Maradona invites GAA team to UAE training ground

'The handpass of God': Diego Maradona invites GAA team to UAE training ground

By Stephen Barry

Diego Maradona was pretty good at scoring with his hand, so when he heard of Irish footballers doing the same, he had to find out more.

The Argentine footballing legend is currently managing Fujairah FC in UAE's First Division and was intrigued after hearing about the "Irish lads and lassies training two or three times a week and using our hands with the ball".

So, last night, Maradona and his team took time out from their drive for promotion to welcome the newly-formed Éire Óg Fujairah to the club's training ground.

Padraig Kennedy, Rebecca Marr, Diego Maradona and Andrew Hogan. Photo: Ammar Ali
Padraig Kennedy, Rebecca Marr, Diego Maradona and Andrew Hogan. Photo: Ammar Ali

"He and other members of Fujairah FC, such as star striker Danilo Carando, were fascinated with our ancient game and he warmly accepted a no.10 GAA jersey," said Éire Óg Fujairah's captain Andrew Hogan, who's originally from Co. Clare.

Photo: Ammar Ali
Photo: Ammar Ali

He'd have made some wing-forward back in the day!

'The handpass of God': Diego Maradona invites GAA team to UAE training ground

Hogan explained: "The invite happened after Maradona heard about the 'Irish lads and lassies training two or three times a week and using our hands with the ball!'

"Although he wasn't aware of the game until now, we hope to have a challenge game in the near future with Fujairah FC."

Founded by a group of Irish teachers, Éire Óg Fujairah already has 40 members from across the world and fields two men's teams and a new ladies' team.

"We were only formed eight months ago, so this was a big coup for us," Hogan added.

While you're here, you can also enjoy some pictures of Maradona, enthusiastic as ever, celebrating a Fujairah FC goal.

Magic!

You can find out more about Éire Óg Fujairah on Facebook.

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