BUENOS AIRES: Diego Armando Maradona is about to make another playing comeback in the Argentinian third division; not the 1986 World Cup-winner but the Italian son he has never acknowledged.
This Diego is the 25-year-old who was ruled by the Italian courts to be Diego senior’s son from a relationship with model Cristina Sinagra during his years in Italy with Napoli.
Diego junior was considered a promising footballer in his teens but nothing to compare with his father and played only for a succession of Italian fourth division clubs.
He had more success in beach soccer and even appeared for Italy in the Beach Football World Cup in 2009 before helping a Napoli team win their first Italian beach soccer championship.
Now he is on the brink of signing for El Porvenir, a fourth division Argentinian club founded in 1915 in Villa Porvenir – hence the name – in Avellaneda but now at home in the Buenos Aires suburb of Lanus. He is scheduled to fly in to Buenos Aires – where his father built his headline-grabbing career with Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors – early next week.
Club president Ricardo Fort, owner of a confectionery business, offered Maradona junior £4,000-a-month plus a Mercedes and two bodyguards but the player turned down the car and the bodyguards on the grounds that they would drive an instant wedge between him and the rest of the team.
Maradona father and son have met only once, bizarrely, on a golf course in Rome.
Diego senior said later: “A lawyer has told me I have to provide money for him but he cannot persuade me to love him as a son.”
Maradona senior has two daughters, Dalma, 25, und Giannina, 23, who is married to Manchester City star Sergio Aguero.
He is currently awaited offers after being sacked in July by Dubai club Al-Wasl after they finished a disappointing eighth in the UAE league.
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