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BCCI likely to allow 50 percent crowd attendance for England Tests


New Delhi, January 20

The BCCI brass is seriously contemplating allowing 50 percent crowd attendance at both Chepauk and the newly constructed Motera Stadium during India’s upcoming four Test matches against England.

The first two Tests will be held in Chennai, beginning on February 5, while the next two will be played at the renovated stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad.

The BCCI is believed to be taking a cue from Cricket Australia which had allowed entry of spectators during the India series that concluded on Tuesday.

“As of now, we are likely to allow 50 percent spectators for the four Test matches. The BCCI is in talks with both state cricket associations (TNCA and GCA) and also state health authorities,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

However, the BCCI is also factoring the fluid public health situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and if case load in either Chennai or Ahmedabad increases, then the decision will change accordingly.

“If you allow 50 percent crowd with all necessary precautions, then it will be an indicator if we can also allow spectators during IPL in India,” the source said.

In Ahmedabad, which can hold over one lakh spectators, spacing of seats to maintain social distancing will not be an issue.

Meanwhile, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will name the squad for first two Test matches against India on Thursday.

This is the first time that a touring team is not naming a squad for full away series keeping the workload management of its players in mind.

The fact that Chennai and Ahmedabad will have two separate bio-bubbles and the teams will travel by chartered flight within the country may also be the reason that England, like the Indian team, decided to name its squad for two Tests. — PTI





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Kohli returns for England Test series along with Hardik, Ishant


New Delhi, January 19

Virat Kohli returned to lead India against England in the upcoming home Test series while the selectors also recalled all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pacer Ishant Sharma to bolster the squad, announced by the BCCI on Tuesday.

Kohli, who headed back to India on a paternity leave after the Adelaide Test, was named in the 18-man squad along with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the final Test in Brisbane against Australia due to an abdominal strain.

The squad was named only for the first two Tests of the four-match series, starting on February 5 in Chennai.

Senior pacer Ishant had missed the Australia tour due to the side strain he suffered during the IPL in the UAE while Pandya only played the ODIs and T20Is Down Under. 

Tamil Nadu paceman T Natarajan was dropped as the selection panel added Axar Patel, a left-arm spinner and useful batsman down the order, to the squad as he would be more effective to counter England on Indian pitches.

The 26-year-old Patel is yet to make his Test debut while he last played for India in T20Is in February 2018 against South Africa. He has also played 38 ODIs.

He is an apt replacement for Ravindra Jadeja.

Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in three Tests in Australia after Kohli’s departure, was named as the vice-captain.

Expectedly, the selection panel retained youngster Shubhman Gill and Washington Sundar, rewarding them for their excellent performance in Australia.

Pacer Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, whose all-round ability helped India immensely in Brisbane, also kept their places along with Mayank Agarwal, who struggled for runs.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who missed the Brisbane Test due to back injury, has also been named in the line-up as he is expected to recover by the time England land in India.  

Wriddhiman Saha is the second wicketkeeper in the squad along with Rishabh Pant, whose gritty 89 not out shaped India’s three-wicket win in Brisbane.

The second Test will also be played in Chennai (February 13-17) while Ahmedabad will host the third (February 24-28) and fourth Test (March 4-8).

The four-Test series will be followed by a five-match T20I series and three-match ODI rubber that will conclude on March 28 in Pune.

KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar and Priyank Panchal have been named as standby players.

Squad:

Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shubhman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel. PTI





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Waiting for Hit-Man Show: Rohit and India ready to change Sydney script


Sydney, January 6 

Having touched nadir and zenith in a span of 10 days, Ajinkya Rahane’s India will look to start afresh against Australia with the big-hitting Rohit Sharma’s presence adding a new dimension to what promises to be an enthralling third Test starting here on Thursday.

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), despite being witness to some extraordinary batting performances from the touring Indian sides over the years, has not exactly been a happy hunting ground with six defeats. The lone win came a good 42 years back.

If Rahane’s side can go 2-1 up and ensure the retention of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it will be one of the finest hours in the history of Indian cricket. Making it even more special is the fact that the side has been without two world-class performers and a senior pacer against a nearly full-strength Australian team.

Seldom has an Australian batting unit, that boasts of a player of Steve Smith’s calibre, looked so circumspect and intimidated by an Indian bowling unit, which isn’t operating at full-strength and, in all likelihood, will pick either Navdeep Saini or Shardul Thakur.

The pressure is understandable as they are pushing a 70 per cent fit David Warner out there in the middle to combat fire with fire even as his statements make it clear that he is not at all comfortable with the idea.

“He is energetic, professional, who could make an instant impact and fills guys with confidence,” Paine’s words on the eve of the match indicated their desperation.

And in this backdrop, enter Rohit Sharma, whose last couple of months have been loads of off-field drama.

First, it was his absence from the initial part of the tour due to a hamstring injury sustained while playing the IPL.

Then his subsequent quarantine for two weeks in a Sydney apartment.

And when he finally united with his teammates, an excited fan inside a Melbourne restaurant led to an inquiry against him and four other teammates for what was called by the local media, a potential bio-security breach.

But the white-ball legend has learnt the art of being unfazed, which was evident from his intense net session on Tuesday when he was comfortably facing the first team bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin.

His mere presence has added spring in the strides of the team and the youngsters in this current set-up swear by him, the reason he replaced Cheteshwar Pujara as vice-captain after just one Test.

Rohit’s presence in the team think-tank may have prompted them to have a serious debate on whether to play Saini or Shardul.

The Sydney track has traditionally favoured the batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar and even Pujara and Rishabh Pant, who got centuries here during the last tour, will vouch for.

If Rohit and Shubman Gill can give the team a good start, the under-pressure Pujara will be much more relieved while playing his own defensive game.

Rahane, after one of his more copybook hundreds constructed in adversity during the last game, will enter the arena with more confidence while facing the Australian quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

KL Rahul’s injury is expected to give Hanuma Vihari one more chance despite his returns being as underwhelming as Mayank Agarwal, who will be forced to make way for Rohit.

But it is Australia’s wobbly batting that will again be put to test by Ravichandran Ashwin on a track, that has traditionally helped spinners.

With 10 wickets and new-found confidence, Ashwin has won both on and off-field battle against opposition’s key players such as Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.

It’s not just the wickets that he has scalped but how the intelligent Chennai engineer has managed to create doubts in the minds of world-class batters is worth its weight in gold.

As much as Australia needs Smith to be back in form, they would also need someone like Travis Head to deliver as he has failed to get a hang of both pace and spin.

Jasprit Bumrah, who is still some games short of 20 Tests, will be leading the pace attack and is expected to show the way with his bagful of tricks.

Whether it’s Siraj or Saini, whoever shares the new ball will have their task cut out as they aim to match the highest standards set by the likes of Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.

Squads:

Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (captain and wk), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazzlewood, Marcus Harris, Mitchell Swepson, Michael Neser  

India (from 12): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini. 

Match Starts at 5 am. PTI  





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Full Indian squad travelling to Sydney together; Brisbane Test on as of now


New Delhi, January 3

The entire Indian cricket contingent, including the five players who are in precautionary isolation, will travel to Sydney for the third Test against Australia together in the same chartered flight on Monday.

The five players—vice-captain Rohit Sharma, opener Shubman Gill, wicket keeper Rishabh Pant, pacer Navdeep Saini and batsman Prithvi Shaw—have not been barred from travelling with the team despite an ongoing investigation into an alleged bio-security protocol breach by them.

Cricket Australia, in a media release on Saturday, said it is probing the matter jointly with the BCCI after a video of the players at an indoor restaurant was posted by a fan, who identified himself as Navaldeep Singh on Twitter.

“If you carefully read the CA statement, they never said that it’s a breach. They said that they are seeking to determine if it’s a breach.

“So there is no restriction on these five players travelling with the team to Sydney. The entire team is flying tomorrow afternoon,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

It is understood that the controversy has not gone down well with the travelling team and it is not amused with how Cricket Australia has so far handled the issue.

“Had the gentleman (the fan) in question not lied about hugging a player (Rishabh Pant) on social media, this mess wouldn’t have happened. The players had gone inside because it was drizzling.

“This guy, without permission, shot a video and then paid the bill which no one asked him to and after that for publicity put a screen grab of bill,” the official said.

“You want to tell me that Cricket Australia will be taking a decision based on a purported video of a person who first lied and then retracted his statement,” he added.

What was Administrative Manager Girish Dongre’s role?

For BCCI, the man under scanner is administrative manager Girish Dongre. Dongre is an employee of the BCCI and is supposed to handle and also keep the team abreast about the COVID-19 protocols.

“The players are not supposed to carry the protocol sheets or remember every fine line written,” another BCCI official said.

“There is a professional team of people who have to ensure that every rule is being followed and it was Dongre’s duty to ensure that players are told that they can’t get into an indoor area,” he added.

Brisbane Test on as of now:

The Australian media on Sunday claimed that the fourth Test in Brisbane has been jeopardised as the tourists are reluctant to travel there in view  of stricter quarantine rules.

But it is learnt that the fourth Test, starting at the Gabba from January 15, is on as of now.

The border restrictions between New South Wales (venue of third Test in Sydney) and Queensland state government is a problem.

Queensland has closed its borders for people travelling from New South Wales due to the rising cases of COVD-19 in Sydney and surrounding areas.

However there will be an exception made for the Test match and players will be in a stricter bio-bubble, similar to the one in the IPL.

It could well happen that in order to play the Test match in Brisbane, the Indian team would have to be in a stricter bio-bubble from Sydney itself which would make for a hard quarantine (hotel-stadium-hotel) of around 15 days.

However, as of now BCCI has not taken any call on asking CA to shift the Test match from Brisbane to Sydney.

“It’s a fluid situation. Let’s wait for a few more days,” a BCCI official said. — PTI





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Covid and cricket



Keki Daruwalla

WHEN an old year lies comatose, scribes start salivating. There’s so much to write about. Now 2020 lies supine and we have to choose. The late entrants are Rahul Gandhi’s exit to Italy and the latest mutant to the Covid strain, which is said to be 70 per cent worse. I was driving through Italy with my family in 1989. We were caught in the darker streets of Naples, when someone smashed the glass and grabbed my wife’s purse from her and made off. The Italian police registered the case as theft, not robbery. I was driving and was ignorant for a moment of what had happened. Much later, I wrote a jingle:

A lovely place is Napoli
Of rolling hill and sun and sea
And also of the Mafiosi.

But to lift our spirits, there’s cricket. Nothing like cricket, but let us put the dismal things behind us — that ‘36 for 9’ is going to haunt us. We forgot the 41 or 42 we scored under Bedi, the State Bank of India party, the late arrival at the High Commission (by which time many of the guests had left) and the tick off by the enraged BK Nehru, the High Commissioner.

We were not dismissed for 36 due to some fluke. Critics say not a catch was dropped by the Aussies. Captains and coaches do not base their strategies on catches dropped. One ball, the out-swinger, dismissed the whole Indian side! Why? Because most of them played half cock. That’s a term you hardly ever hear now, almost sounds obscene. In the old days, when we played on jute or coir matting, you played either back or forward. Forward, in cricketing terminology, meant you played a yard ahead of the crease. Batting on turf, you closed your eyes, put your left leg a foot ahead and blocked. If the ball swung, and was lucky enough to catch the edge, the batsman was back in the pavilion. Most of our vaunted batsmen in the first Test match played half cock. And if the bat is tilted two or three degrees to the onside, as VVS Laxman once advised, you won’t snick the ball so fatally.

What about the Melbourne triumph, the one which we are basking under? Yes, what a great victory, and that century by Rahane! But the bowlers did it. The Australian batting was not the greatest. Many of their batsmen were tentative, and they couldn’t read Ashwin. Off-spinners are easier to read than leg-break bowlers who roll their wrists, but the Australians failed. The statue game has entered cricket. Statues cause some trouble, one faction does not like a person — and will despoil it. Then there would be retaliation. We must think the matter over — we need not become iconoclasts, for that entails breaking images. Let us do away with having more statues. Why must an administrator of the DDCA, later a Finance Minister, get a statue on a cricket ground? And do we need statues of Shivaji at 4,000 crores in the Arabian Sea? But don’t they plan to break it up? The year also relayed to us the unflinching determination of the government not to deviate from the plan of breaking up vistas and not repealing the farm laws, no matter how the farmers shivered in the cold or some even died, even though a hundred Kisan rails were flagged off. The year 2020 paid tributes to decision-makers who never dither. Excuse my atrocious rhyme, dithering leads to withering.

Talking of Covid-19, a bleak thought struck me the other day. The Wuhan Covid reached even Peru and later Antarctica and the Poles. Suppose one day we get an epidemic that wipes away humanity itself? Can happen, and while it takes Oxford or Pune to devise and manufacture a vaccine, we migrate to kingdom come? The dinosaurs vanished, didn’t they? Are we any better? Well, we made contraptions to kill six million Jews didn’t we, last century? We also produced Edward Jenner and Florence Nightingale. And we are good at coining slogans, and writing poetry. Only last century, we produced TS Eliot and Ramprasad Bismil. Sarfaroshi ki tamannah ab hamare dil mein hai.

What or who are the two heroes of the Covid era? Masks and migrants, alliteration unintended. The migrants we have already forgotten. How fickle can national memory be? A lot of crocodile tears were shed by columnists (mea culpa). Guys wrote poems on migrants! Then came IPL in the desert and we forgot all about them, and voted the same government back in Bihar. If there was an election in UP, Adityanathji, the monk Mukhya Mantri, would have swept the polls. The masks are not as footloose as the migrants. They will stay with us. The year gave us some big gifts as well. There was that driverless train, flagged off by the PM himself, which brought great cheer in a cheerless year. If there was no Covid, the Central Vista would have gone for a toss. Imagine the dust as the Bhavans came down. The Expert Appraisal Committee on Infrastructure has already asked the PWD for a detailed “strategy for management of construction and demolition waste”. If the government is so far-seeing, why is it perpetrating this disaster on us? Incidentally, re-building Delhi was not in the BJP manifesto. Let’s forget it. A new vista, new Parliament House, and hand-cranked love jihad, and antics of the “Gupkar gang”, life will be supremely interesting.





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BCCI to back ICC bid to include T20 in 2028 Olympics


Ahmedabad, December 24

No official of any state association raised the question of Indian cricket board (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly’s conflict of interest situation at the board’s AGM here today. There was no discussion on Ganguly endorsing a fantasy gaming company and an educational coaching management company, both of which are direct competitors to two major BCCI sponsors.

“Not a single question was asked and contrary to a particular media report, it was never a topic of discussion,” a state unit member said. “Ganguly is legally in the clear and as far as asking questions is concerned… The BCCI never questioned erstwhile president N Srinivasan after his son-in-law was arrested for alleged spot-fixing in 2013. That issue was way more grave.”

10 IPL teams from 2022

The governing body of the BCCI ratified the entry of two new franchises in the IPL to make it a 10-team affair from 2022. The decision to add new teams in 2022 instead of 2021 was taken because it was felt that there was not enough time to plan even a nine-team IPL next year — an elaborate tender-floating process, increase of matches and other organisational details would not have been possible to complete by the next IPL in 2021.

T20 cricket in Olympics

The BCCI, in principle, decided to back the ICC’s bid for inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, “after getting some clarifications from the International Olympic Committee”. “BCCI is an autonomous body and it would like to maintain its autonomy. Our legal team is looking to get a few clarifications. Obviously, cricket in Olympics is great for the game. Let’s hope we can move in the right direction,” a member who attended the AGM said. — PTI, TNS

Other decisions

Compensation for domestic players

It was decided all First-Class players, both men and women, will be compensated for the curtailed domestic season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The BCCI will give a lump-sum compensation amount to the state units.

BCCI may lose $123 million in ICC revenue

If the government does not give tax exemption for hosting next year’s the T20 World Cup, BCCI would lose around $123 million, which would be deducted by ICC from BCCI’s annual revenue.

Junior, women’s cricket during IPL

Women’s tournaments (senior and junior) along with age-group tournaments (U-23, U-19, U-16) will be held simultaneously at the time of IPL-14 which, in all likelihood, will be held in India despite Covid-related concerns.

Shukla becomes new VP

Veteran Congress leader Rajiv Shukla was named BCCI’s vice-president in place of his protege Mahim Verma from Uttarakhand. Brijesh Patel will continue as the chairman of the IPL Governing Council.

Chetan Sharma new chairman of selectors

Ahmedabad: Former India pacer Chetan Sharma was today appointed chairman of the senior national selection panel by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which also picked Mumbai’s Abey Kuruvilla and Odisha’s Debasis Mohanty in the five-member team. The panel also comprises former India players Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh. pti





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BCCI AGM approves 10 teams for 2022 IPL


Ahmedabad, December 24

The BCCI’s governing body on Thursday ratified the entry of two new franchises in the IPL to make it a 10-team affair from 2022 during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) here.

In another major development, the Board, in principle, decided to back the ICC’s bid for inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics “after getting some clarifications from the International Olympic Committee”.

“Two new teams will be introduced in the 2022 IPL,” a Board source told PTI.

Also, it was decided that all First-Class players, both men and women, will be suitably compensated for the curtailed domestic season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BCCI plans to get the domestic season underway, after several months’ delay, in January with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship.

In other decisions, veteran Congress leader Rajiv Shukla was officially anointed the Board’s vice president in place of his protege Mahim Verma from Uttarakhand.

It was also learnt that the general body decided in favour of Sourav Ganguly continuing as a director in the ICC Board.

Secretary Jay Shah will be the alternate director as well as India’s representative at the Chief Executive Committee meets of the global body. PTI





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Rohit Sharma clears fitness test ahead of Australia Test series


New Delhi, December 11

Senior India batsman Rohit Sharma on Friday cleared an eagerly-watched fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru ahead of the four-Test series against Australia starting December 17.

Rohit had sustained a hamstring injury during the IPL, which led to him missing the white-ball leg of the ongoing tour. He is also out of reckoning for the first two Tests but can now be there for the last two games.

“Rohit has cleared the fitness Test and will soon be flying out to Australia,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Rohit’s fitness test took place under the supervision of NCA director Rahul Dravid, who is entrusted with the responsibility of giving him his fitness certificate.

Rohit is expected to fly out in the next couple of days and will have to undergo 14 days of hard quarantine before being able to train for the last two Tests in Sydney (Jan 7 to 11) and Brisbane (Jan 15 to 19). PTI





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What is Diego Maradona’s net worth and how much did the former Argentina star earn?

He won a World Cup in 1986 and was the poster boy for Coca Cola at one point in time, but how much is the Argentine icon worth?
Diego Maradona is without doubt one of the greatest footballers of all time, revered the world over for his phenomenal skills and feisty personality.

His wondrous talent inspired Argentina to a World Cup triumph and brought him across the world to clubs such Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Sevilla and Napoli.

After hanging up his boots in the mid 1990s, Maradona transitioned into the world of coaching and has steered the fortunes of his country as well as clubs in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico.

Such a glittering career would have brought all sorts of financial rewards, but how much exactly is El Pibe de Oro worth? Goal takes a look.

What is Diego Maradona’s net worth?

Net worth:$100,000
Source of wealth:Football contracts, endorsement deals, investments
Date of Birth:October 30, 1960
Country of birth:Argentina

Maradona’s net worth is estimated at $100,000 (£75,000), despite enjoying a playing career which spanned two decades and saw him ply his trade with the likes of Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors.

The World Cup winner may have inspired Napoli to two Serie A titles and a UEFA Cup in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but he has been in a long-running dispute with the Italian government over taxes.

Maradona told Corriere della Serra in 2016 that the outstanding tax bill had been paid, a claim that is at odds with the comments of Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, who said in 2017 that the Argentine would be a club ambassador as soon as the dispute is settled.

With a reported €37 million (£33m/$42m) left to pay the Italian authorities, Maradona’s net worth has been estimated at $100,000 (£75,000) by the website Celebrity Net Worth.

How much does Diego Maradona earn?

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It is unclear how much Maradona is earning in his role as manager of Gimnasia de La Plata, which is a short-term deal until the end of the 2019-20 season.

However, it is likely that he is being handsomely remunerated for his services.

In his previous job as head coach of Dorados, Record reported that the former Argentina boss was paid $150,000 (£118k) a month, which would have worked out at $1.6m (£1.25m) for the duration of the 11-month contract.

Taking that figure as a Maradona’s going rate, you can see a breakdown of that wage per week, day and so on in the table below.

TimeframeEarnings
Per second$0.05
Per minute$3.40
Per hour$205
Per day$4,931
Per week$34,615
Per month$150,000
Per year$1.8m

Prior to becoming Dorados boss he worked as a FIFA ambassador at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and had put pen to paper on a three-year contract to serve as chairman of Belarusian side Dinamo Brest. However, his venture in Belarus was brief as he made the switch to Mexico.

As well as his coach’s salary, Maradona also earns income through endorsement deals with different brands.

What sponsorships does Diego Maradona have?

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Maradona has long been a partner of German sportswear giant Puma, who first began working with him during his playing days in the 1980s.

He famously wore Puma football boots at three World Cup tournaments, including Argentina’s 1986 triumph in Mexico, and he wore blackout boots at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Maradona had a dalliance with Japanese brand Mizuno in the mid 90s, but returned to Puma shortly afterwards and has been with them since, with Puma even releasing a range of boots in tribute to the star.

As well as Puma, Maradona has had endorsement deals with Coca Cola, Hublot and Konami (as part of their Pro Evolution Soccer series).

How many social media followers does Diego Maradona have?

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Though it may be difficult to picture Maradona checking out social media on his phone, the 58-year-old is quite active on two platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram.

Of the two, he seems to be a bit more active on his Facebook page, which boasts – at the time of writing – 8.8 million followers. Maradona’s Instagram page lags behind, but with 5.6 million followers on that platform, he still has a considerable cyber fan-base.

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Despite being one of the best footballers of all time, Maradona’s online appeal pales in comparison to his modern-day counterparts. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, have hundreds of millions of followers on Instagram alone. Maradona’s following is comparable to that of Brazil great Pele, whose numbers are in the low millions.

He generally uses his social media pages to share photos from the training ground, but it is also a platform he uses to pay tribute to footballers past and present, as well as indulging in the occasional bout of nostalgia for his own playing days. As well as that he sometimes shares advertisements for the products he endorses.

What charity work does Diego Maradona do?

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Maradona is not particularly known for his charity work, but he has participated in a number of charity football matches in aid of causes such as UNICEF.

In 2010, he helped raise $500,000 for a children’s charity at an event organised by one of his sponsorship partners, Hublot, doing so by taking part in a penalty shootout game.

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Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero

Diego Maradona, Argentine soccer legend, has died at the age of 60, the Argentina national soccer team confirmed.

The World Cup winner passed on Wednesday, November 25, after suffering from a heart attack, according to Goal.com.

Maradona, widely considered as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, had been recovering in his Tigre home after undergoing brain surgery at the beginning of the month, the outlet said.

Earlier hospital tests revealed a blood clot on his brain, Goal.com continued. However, doctors described the surgery as successful, the outlet noted.

The 60-year-old led Argentina to four World Cups and coached the national team during the 2010 tournament, CBS News reported.

Selección Argentina, Argentina’s national soccer team, confirmed Maradona’s death on Twitter with a tribute.

“You will be eternal in every heart of the football world,” the November 25 tweet read

Argentina’s presidential office declared that the country will host three days of national mourning following the athlete’s death.

Maradona leaves behind eight official children and his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe.

Here’s what you need to know about Diego Maradona’s family.


1. Maradona Shares 2 Daughters With Ex-Wife Claudia Villafañe

maradona fam
Diego Maradona, center right, with ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, left, and daughters Dalma, center left, and Giannina, right, at the ‘Maradona’ Premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2008 in Cannes, France.

According to The Sun, Maradona married his longtime fiancée Claudia Villafañe in 1989. The pair met when she was 17, the outlet continued.

A Buenos Aires native, Villafañe pursued a career as a TV personality and producer, even taking part in Celebrity Masterchef Argentina, The Sun reported.

The couple share two daughters, Giannina and Dalma Maradona, and divorced in 2003 after nearly 20 years of marriage.

  1. In November 2019, Giannina Maradona Posted Cryptic Social Media Messages Expressing Concern Over Her Father’s Health
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero

In November 2019, Giannina Maradona — who was 30 at the time — took to social media following her father’s 59th birthday, according to The Sun.

The 30-year-old, who shares a son with Man City striker Sergio Aguero, posted “cryptic comments on social media” inferring concern over Diego Maradona’s health “as she begged followers to ‘pray for him,’” the outlet continued.

“He’s not dying because his body decides but they are killing him inside without him realizing it,” Giannina Maradona expressed in an Instagram story, the outlet disclosed. “I don’t believe in the benchmark NORMAL, but that is a long way from the reality he deserves. Pray for him please.”

Diego Maradona had public battles with alcohol and drug addictions in the past, The Sun noted.

He later responded to his daughter’s social media commentary in a video of his own, denying taking any sedatives, the outlet reported.

“I want to tell you that I’m not dying at all, that I sleep peacefully because I’m working,” Diego Maradona said, according to The Sun. “I don’t know what she meant to say or what she had interpreted.”


3. Maradona Is the Official Father of 8 Children

maradona

GettyArgentina player Diego Maradona in action during a 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Peru at the National Stadium on June 23, 1985 in Lima, Peru.

In March 2019, BBC News reported that Maradona was to acknowledge the paternity of three Cuban children, despite having once denied claims that he had other children outside of his marriage.

The paternity acknowledgement enabled Maradona as the official father of eight children, the outlet continued.

BBC News disclosed that the children were from two different mothers and could take the Maradona name.

According to BBC:

Maradona spent several years in the country between 2000 and 2005 undergoing treatment for a cocaine habit. He befriended then-President Fidel Castro during his stint in the country and got a tattoo of the leader’s face on his leg.

Since his 2003 divorce from Villafañe, Maradona had recognized two other children, Diego Junior and Jana, following court battles with their mothers, BBC News continued.

He also shares another child, Diego Fernando, with his former partner Veronica Ojeda, the outlet said.


4. Maradona Broke up With His Most Recent Girlfriend in December 2018

maradona

GettyArgentina’s football legend Diego Maradona, left, and his girlfriend Rocio Olivia arrive at the airport in Jakarta on June 29, 2013.

Rocio Oliva and Maradona broke up in December 2018 following a four-year engagement. Like, Maradona, Oliva, 29, was a soccer player who played for Argentina’s women’s team.

In May 2019, Maradona was detained at Buenos Aires airport after Oliva initiated legal proceedings against her former fiancé claiming that she owed him nearly $7 million. According to Maradona’s lawyer, the former Boca Juniors star was issued with a court date and released.

Oliva, who dated Maradona for six years, announced earlier this month that Maradona needed urgent treatment for alcohol addiction, The Sun reported.


5. Maradona Sued His Ex-Wife After Claiming She Misappropriated Millions of His Money to Buy Florida Real Estate

maradona

GettyDiego Armando Maradona, right, next to his former wife Claudia Villafane in January 2000 at a hotel in Havana, Cuba.

The Associated Press reported in August 2018 that Maradona had been granted permission to pursue a lawsuit in the U.S. against Villafañe. Maradona in 2015 accused his ex-wife of misappropriating millions of his dollars to buy six condominium units in Florida , the outlet said.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami, claimed the misappropriation was uncovered during an audit in 2014, The Associated Press indicated.

“The marriage was long over by the time the lawsuit contends the alleged misappropriation was uncovered through an audit in 2014,” The AP reported. “Maradona’s lawsuit says the misappropriation was never disclosed to him before that.”

After Villafañe’s lawyers argued that the case belonged in Argentina, an appeals court ruled on August 8, 2018 that a lower court “correctly refused to dismiss the lawsuit against” her, the outlet said.

Maradona’s ex-wife denied any fraud, The AP continued.

Diego Maradona’s turbulent family life from finally accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero

FOOTBALL legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday afternoon after suffering a heart attack at his home in Argentina.

Diego Maradona, pictured with his family in 2000, has a complicated family life
Diego Maradona, pictured with his family in 2000, has a complicated family lifeCredit: Reuters
The football legend has two daughters from his first wife and at least six other children from other women
The football legend has two daughters from his first wife and at least six other children from other womenCredit: EPA
Maradona pictured with his grandson Benjamin - who is the son of Man City striker Sergio Aguero
Maradona pictured with his grandson Benjamin – who is the son of Man City striker Sergio AgueroCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The World Cup winner leaves behind a glittering legacy on the pitch from his unforgettable spells with Napoli, Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

His place in football’s pantheon is not in doubt but Argentina’s favourite son, who has battled alcohol and drug addiction and obesity, leaves behind a complicated personal and familial legacy.

PARENTS | Diego Maradona’s death

Born to a devout Catholic family, Maradona grew up in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown just south of capital Buenos Aries.

His father, affectionately known as Don Diego, was a factory worker who once refused to let his son attend trials for Argentinos Juniors because there was not enough money in the sport.

His mother, Dona Tota, was a homemaker who raised eight children – Diego was the oldest – and is known as being the biggest influence and a calming presence on her most famous child.

In fact, when Dona Tota died in 2011 it was national news in Argentina, with the country’s biggest newspapers and TV stations running obituaries.

According to football folklore she had wanted Diego to become an accountant.

Maradona talks reverently about her in his autobiography, describing how she would skip meals and pretend to be ill just to be able to feed her kids.

Maradona with his mother Dona Tota, who he revered, and his father Don Diego, a factory worker
Maradona with his mother Dona Tota, who he revered, and his father Don Diego, a factory workerCredit: Rex Features

FOOTBALLER BROTHERS

Two of Maradona’s brothers also became professional footballers, although not with anywhere near the same level of success as Argentina’s No10.

Raul, known as Lalo, had a brief stint with Boca Juniors and Spanish club Granada before spending much of his career in the US.

Hugo, known as El Turco, played in Spain with Rayo Vallecano and in Austria with Rapid Vienna, before becoming a cult hero with numerous clubs in Japan.

Neither played at international level.

Diego Maradona’s FIRST MARRIAGE

Maradona met his wife Claudia Villafane when she was 17 and he 19.

They married after a long engagement in 1989 and were wed 25 years, but the pair endured a turbulent relationship over three decades.

Maradona and Claudia Villafane were together for more than 30 years but their relationship ended amid rumours of continued infidelity
Maradona and Claudia Villafane were together for more than 30 years but their relationship ended amid rumours of continued infidelityCredit: Rex Features
Maradona and family in Sevilla in 1992
Maradona and family in Sevilla in 1992Credit: Rex Features

Maradona has two children with Claudia, who has been a film producer, reality TV star and actress in her career.

However, their marriage was fraught with rumours of Diego’s infidelity.

The couple divorced in 2004, but continued to be seen together in the years that followed, including at the 2006 World Cup.

The pair then drifted apart but made more headlines together in 2018, when Maradona sued Claudia for allegedly stealing his money and using it to buy apartments in Florida.

CHILDREN & LOVE CHILDREN

While two of his children, daughters Dalma and Giannina, were Claudia’s, Diego has at least three other kids – with unconfirmed rumours of more.

In 2016, after nearly 30 YEARS of denying paternity, Diego finally recognised Diego Jr Sinagra as his son.

Maradona with his two eldest children Giannina and Dalma
Maradona with his two eldest children Giannina and DalmaCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He had been born in September 1986 after Diego’s affair with model Cristina Sinagra while he played for Napoli.

Despite years of campaigning from his mum – and even rumours that the Pope had got involved – Diego refused to accept he was the father, despite an Italian court proclaiming him as the father as early as 1995.

He finally had a change of heart after another love child, Jana, got to know him by secretly meeting with him at a gym he attended in Buenos Aires.

Maradona had fathered Jana, now a lingerie model, after a brief fling with nightclub worker Valeria Sabalain while still married to Claudia Villafane.

Diego Jr, who had a career as a lower league footballer in Italy, publicly posed for pictures with Diego after a family reunion.

Maradona Sr said: “I’m very happy because I’ve been reunited with my son.

“I’ve been reunited with him as I was reunited with Jana.

“I love him a lot and he’s very like me.”

Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
The pair finally reconciled in 2016 after decades apart

The pair finally reconciled in 2016 after decades apartCredit: Rex Features
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero

In the wake of that reunion, more women came forward with paternity claims against Maradona.

In March 2019, he accepted paternity of three Cuban children, reportedly from two mothers, although their identities remain a secret.

Maradona had spent many months in Havana between 2000 and 2005 while undergoing treatment for a cocaine habit, even befriending then-President Fidel Castro during his time in the country.

Maradona later got a tattoo of Castro’s face on his leg.

At least three other women have come forward claiming Maradona to be the father of their children, but he did not publicly confirm they were his before his death.

His youngest child, Diego Fernando, is just seven, and was born in 2013.

Maradona had been dating his mother, Veronica Ojeda, before dumping her when she was four months pregnant for Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior.

Maradona posed for a photo with seven-year-old son Diego Fernando earlier this month
Maradona posed for a photo with seven-year-old son Diego Fernando earlier this monthCredit: Instagram
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
Diego Maradona’s Family & Kids: Fast Facts from accepting love child after 20 years to row with son-in-law Aguero
Jana Maradona, who was also estranged from her father for years, is now a lingerie model

Maradona’s FALL OUT WITH AGUERO

Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero was married to Maradona’s daughter Giannina for four years from 2009 to 2013.

However, the relationship ended on bitter terms with Maradona branding the striker – who is the father of his grandson Benjamin – “a wimp”soon after.

If you think time would have healed the relationship then think again.

His lawyer shared an image of Maradona from his home in 2018 and eagle-eyed people on social media spotted a picture of Aguero hanging on the wall.

But Aguero’s face had been completely blacked out by Maradona.

Maradona branded ex-son-in-law Aguero a 'wimp' after his break up with Giannina
Maradona branded ex-son-in-law Aguero a ‘wimp’ after his break up with GianninaCredit: AP:Associated Press
A picture of Aguero with the face blacked out was spotted on social media in 2018
A picture of Aguero with the face blacked out was spotted on social media in 2018

GIRLFRIEND – Maradona

After splitting from Veronica Ojeda, Maradona got together with Rocio Oliva, who at the time was just 23 and 30 years younger.

Rocio, a former professional footballer herself, has since become a huge celebrity in Argentina and got engaged just 18 months after they met.

Former girlfriend Veronica Ojeda with their son Diego Fernando
Former girlfriend Veronica Ojeda with their son Diego FernandoCredit: Instagram @veruojeda25
Maradona had a relationship with Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior, for five years
Maradona had a relationship with Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior, for five yearsCredit: AFP or licensors
The pair were engaged but split after a series of blazing rows
The pair were engaged but split after a series of blazing rowsCredit: EPA

However, they never married and split up in 2018 after a series of blazing rows.

The main sticking point is believed to be her reluctance to follow him to Mexico after he got the job as Dorados manager.

In the wake of Maradona’s hospitalisation earlier this month, an upset Rocio insisted that alcohol addiction was the cause of his problems.

She said: “On September 9 he was admitted for the same reason but this time round he was in a worse condition than before.

“What’s happening here is simple. You can keep him in hospital three or four days and get him better by hydrating him and giving him vitamins but that’s not the solution.

“Diego takes sleeping pills, but Diego’s problem is alcohol and it’s well known.

“Diego is still drinking and whoever says he isn’t is a liar. He needs to be treated for his alcohol addiction.”

got together with Rocio Oliva, who at the time was just 23 and 30 years younger.

Rocio, a former professional footballer herself, has since become a huge celebrity in Argentina and got engaged just 18 months after they met.

Former girlfriend Veronica Ojeda with their son Diego Fernando
Former girlfriend Veronica Ojeda with their son Diego FernandoCredit: Instagram @veruojeda25
Maradona had a relationship with Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior, for five years
Maradona had a relationship with Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior, for five yearsCredit: AFP or licensors
The pair were engaged but split after a series of blazing rows
The pair were engaged but split after a series of blazing rowsCredit: EPA

However, they never married and split up in 2018 after a series of blazing rows.

The main sticking point is believed to be her reluctance to follow him to Mexico after he got the job as Dorados manager.

In the wake of Maradona’s hospitalisation earlier this month, an upset Rocio insisted that alcohol addiction was the cause of his problems.

She said: “On September 9 he was admitted for the same reason but this time round he was in a worse condition than before.

“What’s happening here is simple. You can keep him in hospital three or four days and get him better by hydrating him and giving him vitamins but that’s not the solution.

“Diego takes sleeping pills, but Diego’s problem is alcohol and it’s well known.

“Diego is still drinking and whoever says he isn’t is a liar. He needs to be treated for his alcohol addiction.”