One was a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary and a well-known politician. The other was a soccer player, a legend of the sport. In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine two people from such different backgrounds getting along. But Fidel Castro was more than just a friend of Diego Maradona, who viewed the Cuban leader as his « second father ». . There was seldom a sporting icon, even his contemporaries who were as political as the flawed genius.
For Diego Maradona, politics was just as important a part of his life as football. The legendary footballer never shied away from voicing his political views, especially when it came to supporting left-wing politicians in Latin America. Maradona was a great admirer of Fidel Castro. He adored the Cuban leader so much that he had a tattoo of Fidel on his left leg in addition to the famous Che Guevara on his right arm.
Maradona met Fidel in 1987, a year after leading Argentina to the World Cup. However, their friendship didn’t blossom until the early 2000s, when the football legend spent time in Cuba trying to shake off drug addiction.
Maradona had spoken many times about how Fidel Castro helped him during that four-year stint in Cuba after he nearly died of a heart problem caused by cocaine.
« He opened Cuba’s doors for me when clinics in Argentina closed them because they didn’t want Maradona’s death in their hands, » Maradona said.
Maradona announced that the powerful Cuban leader would take him out for morning walks and discuss politics and sports with him.
Maradona even interviewed Fidel Castro during a television show in 2005 where the duo reiterated their anti-American sentiments. Fidel attacked George W.. Bush called him « a fraud » after his re-election as then American President. The Miami Terrorist Mafia! «
When Fidel Castro on 25. November 2016 passed away, Maradona was devastated. « I was crying uncontrollably. After my father, it is the deepest suffering I know, « said the football legend. Maradona made it to Havana too, paying tribute to his good friend and ‘second father’.
Four years later, on Jan.. November, Maradona died of a heart attack in his Buenos Aires residence.
It was no surprise that Maradona had a good relationship with former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Maradona, who was on a television show hosted by Chavez, had expressed his hatred of the US and said, « I hate everything that comes from the US. I hate it with all my might « .
Maradona’s political views were evident even during his heyday as a soccer star. Maradona made a statement by leading Argentina to a 2-1 win over England in the famous and lively 1986 World Cup quarter-final match.
According to Maradona, it was much more than a soccer game. It was vengeance, vengeance, for the loss of Argentina to Britain in the 1982 Falkland Islands war. In his autobiography « I am Diego » published in 2000, Maradona described the victory over England as « defending our flag ». .
« It was more than trying to win a game. We said the game had nothing to do with the war. But we knew that Argentines had died there, that they had killed them like birds. And that was our revenge. It was something bigger than us: we defended our flag. «
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World news – CA – Diego Maradona dies: the Argentine footballer’s love for Fidel Castro underscores his politics
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