Havana, 25 Nov (Prensa Latina) Thirty-four years separated Diego Armando Maradona and Fidel Castro when the soccer star was born and the Cuban leader was already leading a triumphant Revolution, a difference that did not prevent the friendship between both of them.
The greatest revolutionary reference in Latin America in the 20th century and one of the best players in the history of soccer – for many the best – met in 1987, when Maradona was invited by Prensa Latina to be awarded in Cuba the prize for the best Latin American sportsman of the year.
Those who were close to both of them claim that they could spend long hours talking about soccer and politics, even though the Cuban leader was a passionate fan of baseball, the national sport on the island.
The link became evident when the Argentinean gave the Cuban statesman the shirt of his debut with Newell’s Old Boys and his similar of the Argentinean team.
On the other hand, Fidel Castro appeared as a guest in 2005 in the program La Noche del Diez, hosted by Diego Armando.
Fidel, if there is one thing I have learned with you through years of sincere and beautiful friendship, it is that loyalty is priceless,’ Maradona wrote to the Cuban leader in a letter dated January 15, 2015.
In fact, that same year Fidel Castro revealed some of the letters he had exchanged with the soccer player in which both shared impressions about politics and sports.
The sportsman moved to the island at the invitation of the Cuban leader to have a medical treatment at a difficult time in his career.
On several occasions, Maradona stressed his bond with the Cuban people and the defense of his ideals.
The player’s ideological commitment and friendship reached such a point that he tattooed the image of the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara on his arm and that of Fidel Castro on one leg.
It is then a wink to destiny that the author of The Hand of God says goodbye today to his people four years after the physical disappearance of the man he admired and loved, who saved his life in one of the hardest moments of his career and whom he considered a father.
(Taken from PL)