Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Friends recount delightful moments with Maradona

An art teacher places paintings of the late Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona painted as a tribute after his death, outside an art school in Mumbai   -  
Copyright © africanews

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title, has died at 60. Maradona died two weeks after being released from a Buenos Aires hospital following brain surgery.

The office of Argentina’s president has decreed three days of national mourning to honor their hero

Speaking before Maradona's death, director Asif Kapadia, Maradona's biographer and lifelong fitness coach share stories about the player

"He's just, he's a star. You know he's got real charisma. There are people like him, real people like him, who I think are the people that should be on the big screen. You know, (Ayrton) Senna had it. Amy (Winehouse) had it. There like, they've got something. People want to be close to them. Maradona's got it in droves, you know? So yeah, absolutely that idea that he deserves to be on a bigger screen in the world, you know, and to be seen by people and to be celebrated for the amazing things that he did, but also to kind of understand - I hope - why he's done some of the stuff he's done, some of the mistakes that he's made and hopefully have a bit more empathy for him," Asif Kapadia said.

Despite being a football legend, Maradona also adored a few leaders around the world. One of them was the famous Cuban president Fidel Castro. In 1987 Maradona together with a few friend made a maiden trip to visit the then embattled Cuban president. Fernando Signorini was among the friends.

"I can't believe it now, but in 1987 he included me in the people who could accompany him to go and visit Fidel Castro. And I was part of this delegation and we went and we spent six hours talking with him all night long until the morning and I can still remember that he is the one who taught him how to play with a ball until the morning," Signorini said.

Despite his popularity, Maradona was embroiled in numerous scandals. In 1991 he was snared in his first doping scandal when he admitted to a cocaine habit that haunted him until he retired in 1997, at 37.

Hospitalized near death in 2000 and again in ’04 for heart problems blamed on cocaine