Diego Maradona

Pochettino’s Spurs put on show for Maradona, Kobe

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Post writers, us included, were drawn to Liverpool’s continued defensive woes following Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 demolition of the Reds at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

With Jurgen Klopp‘s personality and post-match quotes regarding uncapitalized goat Dejan Lovren, that’s understandable, but it would be a big mistake to not celebrate the class of Spurs on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp, Matip reaction ]

Harry Kane is world class, scoring twice and providing a clever assist on another goal as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men showed the well-oiled nature of their machine.

And he was glowing on a match day that saw Kobe Bryant and one of Pochettino’s Argentine heroes, Diego Maradona, at Wembley:

“I spoke to Diego Maradona before the game, it was very emotional. He brings very good energy. He is the best player ever in football history.”

That the win is coming after a draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu is even more notable, considering the manners of each match. Hugo Lloris joined Kane as a star of the show of a more defensive-minded away midweek, but was merely a component as Spurs went for the jugular against the dicey defense of Liverpool.

Margins are small in the Premier League, but you could easily make an argument that Spurs are unlucky to sit five points behind Manchester City. Their star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made gaffes in their lone league loss, to Chelsea, and a failure to finish myriad chances allowed Chris Wood‘s late goal to stand as an equalizer against Burnley.

“It is the third season that we are trying to catch someone. Manchester City are doing very well, they have an amazing squad and one of the best managers in the world. We see what happens, we believe, we will try to catch them. We are focused every day.

There’s another rough stretch ahead for Pochettino’s men, who don’t face City until Dec. 16. Presumably it’ll be second choice at West Ham in the League Cup this week before a trip to Old Trafford, and Spurs have the luxury of making that tough visit without fearing Paul Pogba on the other side of the pitch.

Then, it’s Real Madrid at home in the Champions League, a visit from Palace, and the international break. The North London Derby follows away, and Spurs will hope to have the UCL group sewn up before a trip to BVB days later.

The remaining schedule, save a trip to currently tricky Watford, would set them up to move within touching distance of City following the Dec. 16 match at the Etihad. The interim sees Man City facing Arsenal and Manchester United, so it wouldn’t be absurd to think Spurs could make up ground should City stumble (as unlikely as that looks right now).

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Maradona to coach UAE second division side

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Football great Diego Maradona has been appointed as coach of second division side Al-Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

The former Argentina star, now 56, has been out of management since being sacked by Dubai’s Al-Wasl in 2012 but has now found a new role in the UAE second tier.

A statement on the club’s Twitter feed on Sunday read: “Officially: Maradona as coach of Fujairah”

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Maradona himself wrote on his official Facebook page: “I want to tell you that I’m the new coach of Al-Fujairah SC, in the second division of the United Arab Emirates.”

Attaching a picture of himself posing with an Al-Fujairah shirt with his name and his famous number 10 on the back, he added: “Here are my new colours!”

Maradona won the 1986 World Cup with his country and reached the final four years later, and twice won Italy’s Serie A with Napoli.

His career also took in Barcelona, Sevilla and his beloved Boca Juniors and he is typically mentioned alongside ex-Brazil striker Pele in discussions about the best player of all time.

However, Maradona has also been a controversial figure. He served a 15-month ban for cocaine use and was sent home from the 1994 World Cup after failing another drug test, while his “Hand of God” goal against England still provokes strong opinions today.

Madrid police talk to Maradona after altercation at hotel

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MADRID (AP) Police say they were called to investigate an altercation involving Diego Maradona and a woman at a hotel in Madrid.

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Authorities said officers were dispatched Wednesday after a call from the hotel, but found no evidence of any disturbance after talking to Maradona and the woman.

Authorities said they couldn’t confirm if the woman was a hotel guest or Maradona’s girlfriend.

Spanish media on Tuesday released a video of Maradona threatening a reporter who tried to talk to him at the hotel in Madrid.

Maradona is in the Spanish capital to watch former club Napoli play Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Diego Maradona to get ambassador role with FIFA

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ZURICH (AP) Diego Maradona is getting an ambassador’s role with FIFA.

The governing body wants to ensure the Argentina great “has a major role in FIFA’s activities to promote the game across the globe,” including with its Legends team.

FIFA says the 56-year-old Maradona will be involved in “relevant development projects.”

Maradona announced his new role Thursday, hailing FIFA as “clean and transparent” under President Gianni Infantino.

Maradona feuded with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and long-time Argentina soccer leader Julio Grondona, a FIFA senior vice president who died in 2014.

Last month, Maradona played soccer at FIFA headquarters on his first visit since a November 2009 disciplinary hearing over a profane post-match rant. Maradona, the Argentina coach at the time, was banned from the 2010 World Cup draw in South Africa.

Maradona’s former house turned into museum in Argentina

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) How many sleepless nights did the young man who would become one of soccer’s greatest players spend gazing up at the ceiling, imagining dizzying dribbles, spectacular goals and hoisting the World Cup above his head?

[ MORE: Could Rooney be driven back to Everton by Mourinho? ]

That is the question visitors often ask when they see the small wooden bed in the former house of Diego Maradona, which was recently turned into a museum in Argentina’s capital.

[ MORE: Azpilicueta pleased with Chelsea’s form since 3-4-3 change ]

Maradona, now 55, lived with his family in the two-story house in Buenos Aires’ La Paternal neighborhood in the late 1970s, when he was playing with the Argentinos Junior soccer club. Officials say the museum sheds light on a little-known era of his life, before he became an internationally known superstar who led Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup tournament.

The home was given to Maradona’s family in 1978 by Argentinos, part of his payment for signing his first contract. At that time, such payments were rare for teenage soccer players, even those with exceptional talent.

Crossing the doorstep, visitors travel back in time, seeing dozens of photographs, documents and objects evocative of Maradona’s teenage years. A photograph of him with curly hair and an innocent smile sitting on a stair in front of the house vouches for the authenticity of the building, as does a deed in the name of Maradona’s father, Don Diego.

His first contract is another treasure displayed in the museum, which is owned by Alberto Perez, a former Argentinos Junior manager who is a collector of Maradona paraphernalia.

“This was perhaps the most romantic part of his life, the best time,” Perez said.

Standing in the courtyard where Maradona used to play pingpong with his brothers, Perez recalled that era. “We raised Diego in Argentinos Junior … We can’t forget what Diego meant for the club and for the neighborhood. At the world level, they know us because of him.”

Perez negotiated for years to buy the house from the woman who acquired it after Maradona left the neighborhood in 1981, when he went to play for Boca Juniors.

Perez achieved his goal eight years ago when he bought the house for $100,000. Since then he has sought exact replicas of the original furniture and other household items used by the Maradonas.

Diego Maradona’s bedroom was on the upper floor, with the bed covered by a blue quilt. A small table with a lamp sits next to it.

“Diego slept in this room and had a bathroom outside. It was cold in winter. Diego is a person who always lived with family,” said Perez.

The family came to this middle-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires from the poor suburb of Villa Fiorito.

Here Dona Tota, as Maradona’s mother was known, raised five daughters and three sons. She died in 2011.

“In the pictures you can see how happy he was,” Cesar Perez, who helped his father with the museum, said of Maradona.

“This is a work of the heart, a living tribute to the best player of all time,” he said of the museum, which is free for visitors.