Diego Maradona ‘fine’ after being treated by the doctor at World Cup
Football legend Diego Maradona has reassured fans that he is fine after he was treated by doctors during Argentina’s dramatic World Cup win over Nigeria on Tuesday.
“I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned,” Maradona posted on Instagram along with a picture of him being assisted by what appears to be a medic.
“In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot and I suffered a decompensation.”
Maradona’s performance in the stands was as eye-catching as the one produced on the field by Lionel Messi in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Nigeria, which spared the South American nation an early elimination from the World Cup.
And that’s the problem.
Maradona might be Argentina’s No. 1 fan at the World Cup, but he’s also proving to be an unwanted — and sometimes embarrassing — distraction, increasingly casting a shadow over a team trying to win soccer’s biggest prize.
“Maradona is in danger of becoming a laughingstock, I’m afraid,” former England striker Gary Lineker said during post-game analysis on British TV.
The good news is that, according to Maradona himself, he is OK after his wild night inside St. Petersburg Stadium, during which he required medical treatment and was pictured with his eyes closed for parts of the game. Before kickoff, footage showed him dancing with a Nigeria fan in the area in front of his executive box.
“I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned,” the 57-year-old Maradona wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of himself with medical staff.
Castellano | Italiano | Inglés Quiero contarles que estoy bien, que no estoy ni estuve internado. En el entretiempo del partido con Nigeria me dolía mucho la nuca y sufrí una descompensación. Me revisó un médico y me recomendó que me fuera a casa antes del segundo tiempo, pero yo quise quedarme porque nos estábamos jugando todo. ¿Cómo me iba a ir? Les mando un beso a todos, perdón por el susto y gracias por el aguante, hay Diego para rato! Voglio solo dirvi che sto bene, che non sono e non sono stato ricoverato. Durante l'intervallo della partita con la Nigeria ho avuto un forte dolore alla nuca e un mancamento. Un medico mi ha visitato e mi ha consigliato di tornare a casa prima del secondo tempo, ma ho deciso di rimanere perché ci stavamo giocando il tutto per tutto. Come sarei potuto andarmene? Un bacio a tutti e grazie per il supporto… Diego ci sarà ancora per un bel po'! I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned. In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot and I suffered a decompensation. I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave? I send a kiss to everyone, thanks for the support!
A post shared by Diego Maradona Oficial (@maradona) on
“In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot,” he added. “I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half.”
But he didn’t. He stayed on to see Argentina score an 86th-minute winner by Marcos Rojo, and celebrated by aggressively giving a middle-finger salute with both hands toward spectators below him.
“I wanted to stay because we were risking it all,” Maradona wrote. “How could I leave?”
Soon after the final whistle, he needed help getting out of the stands and into an adjoining luxury box. Hours later, he was photographed smiling at an airport. Another photo posted on Twitter by a Colombian television journalist showed him sitting on a plane reportedly heading for Moscow.
1:41 am Rusia. A punto de ✈️. Diego: estás hospitalizado? pic.twitter.com/xfktQFUSk0
— Patricia Villegas (@pvillegas_tlSUR) June 26, 2018
“I send a kiss to everyone,” Maradona said at the end of his Instagram message, “thanks for the support!”
Maradona’s antics raised more concerns over the health of one of the sport’s most iconic players, who led Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986 — scoring the famous “Hand of God” goal along the way — and later coached the national side at the 2010 World Cup. He is worshipped in his home country, where is known as the “Pibe de Oro” (“Golden Boy”), and by soccer fans throughout the world.
But he has battled cocaine use and obesity, which affected him at the end of an illustrious playing career that finished in 1997. Hospitalized in 2000 and again in ’04 for heart problems blamed on cocaine, Maradona was treated at a hospital again in 2007 for acute hepatitis that his doctor blamed on excessive drinking and eating.
At this World Cup, it seems there are as many cameras trained on Maradona during matches as there are on Argentina’s players. He stood with his arms outstretched and looked to the sky at one point during the game against Argentina. Below him were spectators with their smartphones out, eager to catch a glimpse of a soccer great who, to some, is damaging his reputation.
“The people in Argentina laugh at him at the moment. We feel sad,” said Oscar Cicchilli, a 68-year-old Argentina fan from Buenos Aires who was in St. Petersburg for the Argentina-Nigeria game.
27 de Junio de 2018. 1:08 am Rusia. Diego Maradona a punto de tomar vuelo para Moscú. pic.twitter.com/KeXMtkP54h
— Patricia Villegas (@pvillegas_tlSUR) June 26, 2018
“He has a difficult personality. He has problems.”
No other figure or former player is overshadowing their national team like Maradona is with Argentina at the World Cup. Then again, few have the emotional mood swings, box-office temperament and backstory that Maradona has.
Cicchilli doesn’t think Maradona’s antics are affecting the team in Russia. He isn’t currently linked to the Argentine FA, so no members of the federation were willing to comment about him following Tuesday’s game.
The world now awaits the next installment of the Maradona story, at Argentina’s round-of-16 match against France in Kazan on Saturday.
News Source: chicagotribune.com, edition.cnn.com, usatoday.com