One was a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary and famend politician. The opposite was a soccer participant, a legend of the game. In right now’s world, it is laborious to think about two folks with such various backgrounds getting together with one another. However Fidel Castro was greater than only a pal to Diego Maradona, who thought-about the Cuban chief his ‘second father’. There was hardly ever a sporting icon, even his contemporaries, who had been as political because the flawed genius.
For Diego Maradona, politics was as essential part of his life as soccer was. The legendary footballer by no means shied away from expressing his political beliefs, particularly when it got here to supporting leftist-politicians in Latin America. Maradona was a giant admirer of Fidel Castro. He idolised the Cuban chief a lot in order that he had a tattoo of Fidel on his left leg other than the well-known Che Guevara on his proper arm.
Diego Maradona’s friendship with Fidel Castro
Maradona had first met Fidel in 1987, a 12 months after he had led Argentina to World Cup glory. Nonetheless, their friendship blossomed solely within the early 2000s when the soccer legend frolicked in Cuba to shake off drug habit.
Maradona had typically spoken about how Fidel Castro helped him throughout that 4-year phase-in Cuba which got here after he practically died of a coronary heart downside induced by cocaine.
“He opened Cuba’s doorways to me when clinics in Argentina had been slamming them shut as a result of they did not need the demise of Maradona on their fingers,” Maradona had mentioned.
Maradona revealed that the highly effective Cuban chief would invite him for morning walks and focus on politics and sports activities with him.
Maradona even interviewed Fidel Castro throughout a tv present in 2005 during which the duo echoed their anti-American sentiments. Fidel attacked George W. Bush after his re-election because the then American president, calling him “Fraud. The terrorist mafia of Miami!”
When Fidel Castro handed away on November 25, 2016, Maradona was left devastated. “I wept uncontrollably. After my father, it is the deepest sorrow I do know,” the soccer legend had mentioned. Maradona made it to Havana too and paid tribute to his good pal and ‘second father’.
4 years therefore, on November 25, Maradona died of a coronary heart assault at his residence in Buenos Aires.
It was no shock that Maradona shared an excellent rapport with former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Attending a tv present hosted by Chavez, Maradona had expressed his hatred for the US, saying “I hate every part that comes from the US. I hate it with all my energy”.
Maradona’s political beliefs had been evident even throughout his heyday as a soccer star. Maradona made a press release by main Argentina to a 2-1 win over England within the well-known and feisty World Cup quarter-final match in 1986.
It was way more than a soccer match, in line with Maradona. It was revenge, revenge for Argentina’s loss to Britain within the 1982 battle over the Falkland Islands. In his autobiography ‘I’m Diego’ printed in 2000, Maradona described the win over England as ‘defending our flag’.
“It was our means of recovering ‘Las Malvinas,'” Maradona wrote.
“It was greater than making an attempt to win a sport. We mentioned the sport had nothing to do with the battle. However we knew that Argentines had died there, that that they had killed them like birds. And this was our revenge. It was one thing greater than us: We had been defending our flag.”