Diego Maradona has reacted to media reports on his health after he got “too emotional” in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the last Group D match between Nigeria and Argentina.
Maradona, 57, was prominent among a group of retired Argentina international footballers who showed support to La Albiceleste ahead of the nerve-racking encounter. The football icon arrived St. Petersburg Stadium in high spirits, cheering his team to victory and raising his middle fingers in that frenzied moment Lionel Messi scored against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Unable to hide his emotions after the Nigeria’s elimination, Maradona reportedly slumped and required assistance to walk. The football legend received treatment for low blood pressure, La Nacion, one of Argentina’s most popular newspapers reported.
A spokesperson for FIFA confirmed Maradona’s exit from the stadium but gave no further details on his health.
A correspondent to ESPN Deportes Diego Cora confirmed Maradona’s hospitalization. She said medical staff arrived after Maradona “slumped in a chair steps from where he had watched the game, before the decision was made to take him to a local facility.”
Her words: “Maradona had to be cared for by doctors and was taken to hospital.”
Maradona, who previously served as coach of Argentina national team, showed unbridled passion for his compatriots and was unable to contain his joy after goals from Messi and Marcos Rojo broke the heart of millions of Nigerians. His antics at the stadium has since gone viral, with critics berating him for an “unsporting behavior” that followed the Manchester United player’s goal.
— Sam Blade (@Hoss__Sam) June 27, 2018
— Hernán Sarmiento (@hsarmien) June 27, 2018
The UK Independent quoted Maradona as saying “I’m fine…The trouble with my health was caused by too much white wine…”
Maradona’s Facebook update on Wednesday explains the drama.
“I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned,” he wrote.
“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!”