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In Mexico, Maradona says off-pitch issues are in the past

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CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona says he has left his off-the-pitch issues behind.

[ MORE: Rabiot in demand ]

Maradona was formally introduced Monday as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa. He was jovial and said he didn’t come to Mexico for a vacation.

Maradona said: “I came here to work, and I came to give my heart.”

The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with alcohol and drug addiction. His new club is located in a city considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug smuggling gangs.

Maradona said “we are all judged” and added, “How many people are there here who do worse things than us and don’t end up in any newspaper?”

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Diego Maradona hired as manager of 2nd-tier Mexican team

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MEXICO CITY (AP) The president of the second-tier Mexican soccer club Dorados of Sinaloa says Argentine great Diego Maradona has been hired as the team’s coach.

[ MORE: New USMNT head coach to be hired by end of 2018 ]

Club president Jose Antonio Nunez confirmed Maradona’s hiring without providing details of his contract. The club’s Twitter account also welcomed Maradona with a photo of a shouting Maradona and the team’s logo.

The club planned a formal presentation of the new coach early next week in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan.

[ MORE: What’s at stake for young USMNT in Brazil, Mexico friendlies? ]

Maradona remains one of the most recognizable names in international soccer, having led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship in Mexico, helped by his infamous “Hand of God” goal.

As a coach, Maradona guided Argentina to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010. He has also coached clubs in Argentina and abroad.

Maradona, who has struggled publicly with substance abuse, now heads to Mexico’s drug trafficking heartland.

Court says soccer’s Maradona can pursue ex-wife case in US

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MIAMI (AP) Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona can pursue a lawsuit in the U.S. against his ex-wife claiming she misappropriated some of his money to buy Florida real estate, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The state 3rd District Court of Appeal decided that a lower court correctly refused to dismiss the lawsuit against Claudia Villafane. Her lawyers argued the case belonged in Argentina, but the judges disagreed.

The court found that Maradona’s claims are barred in Argentina because a statute of limitations on them has expired in that country. In the U.S., however, he can still pursue the lawsuit and his attorneys have argued that the alleged improper conduct happened in Florida.

Maradona and Villafane were married from 1989 to 2003. The lawsuit filed in 2015 in Miami claims she improperly used millions of his dollars to buy six condominium units in South Florida. She has denied any fraud.

Maradona’s stellar playing career included leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship, in which he won the Golden Ball as top tournament player and made his famous “Hand of God” goal against England. He played for several professional teams, mainly in Europe, and later coached the national team.

In the lawsuit, Maradona claims that Villafane was entrusted to manage his finances on behalf of the couple and their daughters.

“Villafane instead elected to misappropriate and misuse millions of dollars” belonging to Maradona and to “conceal her theft through the creation of multiple Florida entities and investments in several real properties” located in Miami Beach, Hallandale Beach and elsewhere, according to the suit.

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

The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages now returns to a lower Miami court, where the case had been on hold pending the outcome of Villafane’s appeal.

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Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

Maradona says he’s “fine” after health scare

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Diego Maradona had quite the day on Tuesday as he watched his beloved Argentina narrowly beat Nigeria in Saint Petersburg to secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Maradona, 57, was seen praying, waving banners and singing his heart out before the game had even begun. During the game he was shown several times by the TV cameras and looked anxious throughout.

But when Marcos Rojo‘s superb volley in the 86th minute all but confirmed Argentina’s passage to the knockout rounds, Maradona lost the plot and made an obscene gesture by flipping two birds.

Amongst it all he was shown being helped into a suite and paramedics were checking him over, but the Argentine legend had the following to say via an Instagram post.

“I want to tell everyone that I am fine,” Maradona said. “In the half-time of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot… 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!”

It will be intriguing to see if Maradona is present for Argentina’s last 16 clash against France in Kazan on Saturday.

Judging by his comments above, there’s no way he’s missing that game.

Report: Maradona ‘stable’ after needing medical attention at World Cup

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Diego Maradona was one of the stars of Tuesday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Nigeria, and no you didn’t miss a story about the 57-year-old coming out of retirement.

Maradona was captured on camera doing everything from sleeping to dancing with a Nigerian fan to flipping a pair of birds to hecklers while seemingly mouthing an offensive slur after Argentina took a 2-1 lead.

[ MORE: Rojo, Messi react to win ]

And while all that goes from questionable to entertaining and back, depending on the instance in question, what occurred after the game was nothing short of concerning.

Video of Maradona needing help to get up the stairs in his corporate suite raised concerns and reports followed of a possible hospitalization.

The Independent reports that the Argentine legend was treated by paramedics and transported to a local hospital, but is stable and will fly back to Moscow.