Diego Maradona Life after retirement

After his third positive test three years later, he retired from football on his 37th birthday, but continued to be plagued by problems.

Maradona was given a suspended jail sentence of two years and 10 months for an earlier incident where he shot at journalists with an air rifle.

His cocaine habit and alcoholism led to several health issues. He put on weight, rising to 128kg (20 stone) at one point, and suffered a major heart attack in 2004, which left him in intensive care.

He had gastric-bypass surgery to help stem his obesity, and sought sanctuary in Cuba while battling to overcome his drug addiction.

Former Cuba president Fidel Castro and Diego Maradona
Maradona visited Cuba and met president Fidel Castro

Despite all this, Maradona was named manager of the Argentina national team in 2008 and took the side to the World Cup quarter-finals two years later before his reign ended with a 4-0 defeat by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Various managerial roles followed for a figure who continued to divide opinion, and continued to make headlines.

He needed reconstructive surgery on his lip after one of his pet shar pei dogs bit him, and publicly recognised his son Diego Armando Junior who was born from an extra-marital affair.

A snapshot of his chaotic lifestyle came when he attended Argentina’s match against Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He unveiled a banner of himself, danced with a Nigeria fan, prayed to the heavens before the game, wildly celebrated Lionel Messi’s opener, fell asleep and gave a double middle finger salute after Argentina’s second goal.

Some reports suggested he needed medical treatment afterwards.

Disgraceful, inspired, entertaining, great, over the top. Diego Maradona. A life less ordinary.

Diego Maradona
Maradona attended Argentina’s group games during the 2018 World Cup


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