Diego Maradona was among the thousands of Argentine citizens who paid their respect to fallen former President Nestor Kirchner on Thursday. Kirchner’s body was laid to rest at Argentina’s presidential palace in a service yesterday morning and Maradona was at the ceremony and embraced Kirchner’s widow, Argentina’s current President Cristina Fernandez, and the former World Cup star and national team coach also placed his hand on Kirchner’s flag-draped coffin to pay tribute to the fallen former leader.
Maradona, who was tough to wrangle for a visit to the current president following this summer’s Cup, had nothing but kind words to say about the death of the nation’s former leader and even compared the man to one of South America’s most revered historical figures Che Guevara:
Losing him is terrible for us. Argentina lost a gladiator, a man who was always involved, who pulled us out of the well. I didn’t have a deep friendship with him, but the little contact I had he seemed to be a man driven by his ideals. Che Guevara was also driven by his ideals—my idol. It’s true that Nestor had many qualities of Che Guevara.
And considering that Maradona has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm, I’d say that compliments don’t get much better then that from the Hand of God man. Cristina Kirchner was a great supporter of Maradona’s following the side’s World Cup exit and Nestor was well known to be a huge fan of the sport and local team Racing. The former president unexpectedly died of heart failure on October 27th.
Maradona currently is not managing a squad, but the famous former footballer has often been linked to a move back to the national team next calender year.