Today, November 25, 2021, marks the first anniversary of the death of Argentine Diego Armando Maradona
“Who is Indio Morán? The first one I want to talk to is Morán “, he shot with his characteristic defiant face. Silence ruled the scene. El Indio was there. But no one wanted to prop up the person they were looking for Diego Armando Maradona. The players of Mandiyu they exchanged glances. They still did not get out of the astonishment that caused them that 10 was presented as the new coach of the Corrientes team. Incredible but real, in his first challenge as a coach, Maradona landed asking for a face to face with a Uruguayan. Neither more nor less than the Indian Héctor Morán. The one who left Cerro and was champion of everything with Nacional.
What had happened? Why Maradona’s interest in having a head-to-head with the Uruguayan in Mandiyú’s dressing room?
Héctor Morán came from problem to problem in the Argentine league. He had hit the benchmark of the Boca fans of those times, Blas Armando Giunta. He had already had an affair with Diego Cagna and Roberto Pompei. Due to his vehemence, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) analyzed imposing a harsh sanction on him.
El Indio recalled that stage. “I was in Mandiyú for three years and I had problems with some high-level players. At the end of 1993, when I had the incident with Pompei, who was playing in Vélez, they wanted to suspend me ex officio for a year. So I spoke with the president of the club and told him that I was going to Montevideo until everything calmed down. It was no wonder, he could no longer bear the pressure of the press. They looked at me with a magnifying glass. And I returned to Uruguay ”, expressed Morán in the book They are football things (End of the century 2014).
The first days of October 1994 were approaching when the telephone rang insistently at the Morán house. It was the president of Mandiyú, Roberto Cruz, who told Héctor: “Indio, I’m back now, because Maradona is arranging as a coach,” the man warned. Morán couldn’t believe it.
The hiring of Maradona sought to alleviate the sporting crisis of the Corrientes club, which was in full swing. In mid-1994, Eduardo Seferian transferred the club’s football to a business group led by the then Menemista deputy and head of CEAMSE, Roberto Cruz, for a sum close to 2 million dollars.
Cruz’s first measure was to remove technical director Pedro González. And the addition of Maradona was a desperate attempt by Mandiyú to avoid relegation. That was Diego’s first mission as a club coach. He took office on October 9, 1994, in a duo with Carlos Fren since on the 10th he could not go out on the field because he did not have a qualifying title.
Morán continued with the narration… “You know how I returned to Corrientes! This was a revolution. The town was insane. Well, it turns out that I arrived and they made an appointment for the other day at 8 in the morning. We were there waiting and suddenly a helicopter appears, descends, and Maradona descends. I could not believe it. I was face. He immediately summoned us all to the locker room. And there he says: ‘The first one I want to talk to is Morán. Who is Indio Morán? ‘ Pah, I thought he was going to kill me over the incident with Giunta. Maradona a Boca fan and I broke everything. But I was surprised. He grabbed me and said: ‘Here the sons of bitches, the criminals, walk with white gloves. You go head-on and you’re going to be my captain ‘. Pahhhh, how to forget that. The truth is that, with the support that Diego gave me, in the end they gave me only two sanction games, he put me as captain and I ended up playing ”, recalled the ex-flyer.
“One day we were playing against Newell’s in Corrientes. It was a key match for relegation. We lost 3-1. The president, who was a certain Cruz because Seferían had moved away. And the man entered the locker room overheated and began to insult us badly. He told us that we were shits and a whole repertoire of those. That’s where Maradona enters and a terrible mess was created. You know how he got the guy out! I don’t forget those things anymore. Diego was just starting but as a coach he defended the player to the death. We went anywhere and they respected us. Nobody supported Mandiyú, 5,000 people went to the field, but when the madman (Maradona) arrived, the field was full. I was captain and I entered the games tearing, ”Morán recalled.