Dorados de Sinaloa, a Mexican second-division soccer team coached by Argentine legend Diego Maradona, held a final training session ahead of Thursday's first leg of the final of the Ascenso MX's Apertura 2018 championship.
Maradona was in a cheerful mood at Wednesday's practice and even took some shots on goal while giving instructions to his players, who will face off against Atletico San Luis for the title.
After taking over a struggling team and guiding it to a record of six wins, one draw and one loss down the final stretch of the regular season and then to two series victories in the playoffs, Maradona now is focused on getting off to a strong start in the first leg at Banorte Stadium in Culiacan.
High expectations surround the two-legged championship series because both teams were impressive in the quarter-final and semi-final stages.
Maradona on Wednesday instructed his players to maintain possession and an attacking mindset against a well-balanced opponent that features one of the league's top goal scorers, Argentine forward Nicolas Ibañez, up front.
After the training session in front of dozens of spectators, Maradona appeared happy to sign jerseys, caps, albums and other items.
Maradona finished the session by expressing his thanks to the fans, several of whom took photos with the champion's trophy that will be awarded on Sunday after the second leg in San Luis Potosi.
Both teams are trying to secure promotion to the 2019-2020 edition of the Liga MX, Mexican soccer's first division.
Either can do so by winning both the Ascenso MX's Apertura 2018 and Clausura 2019 titles or by winning one of them and then defeating the champion of the other competition in a two-legged playoff.