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From Russia With Love: When Diego is at the stadium

  • Published at 07:29 am July 2nd, 2018
  • Last updated at 07:35 am July 2nd, 2018
Argentine living legend Diego Maradona cheers his team on during the World Cup in Russia in June

It happened every time before the start of an Argentina game in the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

The Argentina fans suddenly cheered loudly upon seeing Diego Maradona on the giant screen.

It has been a common scene in the Russia World Cup that whenever Argentina played, Maradona made his presence felt at the VIP stands.

It was no different Saturday when last edition’s runners up side Argentina lost to a youthful French side and exited the greatest show on earth in the last 16 stage in Kazan.

This time, the living football legend was joined by his partner Rocio Oliva, who was wearing an Argentina jersey, and the couple were accompanied by former Brazil footballer Ronaldo.

Maradona was sitting at the lower VIP stands, just under the Media Tribune, dedicated to media personnel who came here from different countries to cover the World Cup.

The 27-year old Oliva and Maradona were seen sharing some intimate moments between themselves while watching the match.

As always, Maradona was seen in contrasting emotions in different phases of the game.

The former Napoli footballer celebrated wildly when Argentina scored, and was totally blank when his team were on the receiving end.

Whatever he did, everything was being followed by the fans, and also by the media.

Safe to say he has already been at the centre of attraction in Russia after some controversies.

He was quite animated in all three of Argentina’s group stage matches against Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

In Argentina’s first Group D game, Maradona was spotted smoking a cigar, even though it is frowned upon to smoke at the stadium.

He then sparked a storm over an “eye gesture” aimed at a South Korean fan later in the game.

The 1986 World Cup champion even had to take medical attention after Argentina sealed a memorable 2-1 win over Nigeria.

It has already been revealed that Maradona is being paid £10,000 per match by Fifa in his role as an ambassador, which is uncertain now, given Argentina’s exit.

When everything’s been said and done, Maradona is a unique character and it is really no wonder that wherever he goes and whatever he does, he is always at the centre of attention.