Ramon Diaz thanks Al Hilal 'for everything' as he leaves club for personal reasons

Argentine will return to his homeland to be with family following son's devastating car crash in March that killed his wife and driver of other vehicle

Ramon Diaz has left Al Hilal to return to his native Argentina for family reasons. AP Photo
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Ramon Diaz bid a heartfelt goodbye to Al Hilal after deciding to return to Argentina for family reasons, with his son Emiliano Diaz to take charge of the team for the remainder of the season.

Diaz, 63, posted the announcement on his social media on Sunday night, only days following Hilal’s King’s Cup final victory against Al Wehda.

The Argentine, in his second stint as Hilal manager, said he needed to go back to his homeland to be with his family. In March, Diaz’s other son Michael was involved in a car crash in Buenos Aires that killed his wife, Barbara Oliver, and the driver of the other vehicle, Aldo Flaque.

Michael Diaz and his young son Milo are said to have experienced relatively minor injuries.

At the time, Ramon Diaz travelled back to Argentina, but soon resumed his work with Hilal. Earlier this month, the reigning Asian champions lost the Champions League final to Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds, but responded on Friday by securing a 10th King’s Cup.

Hilal prevailed 7-6 in the shoot-out against Wehda after the match in Jeddah finished 1-1.

In Sunday’s video, Diaz said: "First of all, I want to thank the fans, the administration, the players, for the opportunity they gave me to be in this great club. But I am living a difficult, complicated moment, a situation for which I have to return to Argentina, to accompany my family.

“I want to thank all of Saudi Arabia for how they have treated me, for everything they have given me. I thank them and I apologise again, I love you very much and surely Al Hilal will continue to win."

Hilal, the current Saudi champions, are almost certainly out of the title race as they enter the final five matches of their league campaign. They sit fourth in the table, 11 points off leaders Al Ittihad, who have played a game more.

Hilal host Ittihad in a huge match on Tuesday. The Jeddah club lead the standings by five points from Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.

In a statement on Sunday, Hilal said: “The board of directors of Al Hilal Club has approved the request made by the Argentinian manager of the first football team, Ramon Diaz, to leave to his country to follow up the situation of his family after a car accident that resulted in one death and two injuries among his family members.

“It has been decided that the assistant coach, Emiliano Diaz, will take over coaching duties with the rest of the coaching staff who will continue leading the remaining matches of the sports season.”

Updated: May 15, 2023, 8:45 AM