'Maradona Family XI': Football legend's five children likely to feud with six rumored ones over his fortune
After football legend Diego Maradona's demise on Wednesday, November 25, reports claim that there could be a family feud brewing over his estate as he left behind five children he recognized and six others who have claimed to be his children.
Maradona had recognized two sons and three daughters by four different women -- including his ex-wife Claudia Villafane and former long-term partner Veronica Ojeda -- as his own. After the names of three children said to be his in Cuba were made public last year, Gianinna Maradona, one of the former footballer's two daughters by Villafane, joked that her father could make up a starting eleven with his kids. "Just three more needed for the team of 11. You can do it!!!" she said.
The late athlete previously hinted at the fact that his children were after the wealth that he had accumulated over the years, adding that he had no plans of leaving a penny behind for his kids after his death. "I tell you all that I’m not going to leave anything, that I am going to donate it. I’m not going to give away everything I earned by running during my life. I’m going to donate it," he said.
This was after his daughter Gianinna had sparked health rumors about her father by appearing to ask fans in a video to "pray for him" and claiming he was being sedated with pills like a 'caged lion.' Maradona disputed the claims, adding: "I don't know what she meant to say or what she had interpreted. What I do know is that as you get older, people worry more about what you're going to leave than what you're doing."
It was not immediately clear who the former Barcelona and Napoli star had included in his will. His estimated net worth at the time of his death was $100,000
In 2016, Maradona admitted was is the father of Diego Sinagra. Born in Naples on September 20, 1986, Sinagra is an Italian footballer and beach soccer player, who plays for A.S.D San Giorgio in Italy. Despite years of campaigning from Sinagra’s mother, Maradona refused to accept he was the father. This was also despite an Italian court proclaiming him as the father as early as 1995. Maradona had also fathered Jana, now a lingerie model, after a brief fling with nightclub worker Valeria Sabalain while still married to Villafane. After a family reunion, Maradona said: "I'm very happy because I've been reunited with my son. I've been reunited with him as I was reunited with Jana. I love him a lot and he's very like me."
But this wasn’t the end of things. Following this, more women came forward with paternity claims against Maradona. In March 2019, he accepted the paternity of three Cuban children, reportedly from two mothers. The footballer had spent many months in Havana between 2000 and 2005 while undergoing treatment for a cocaine habit.
Reportedly, at least three other women have come forward claiming Maradona to be the father of their children, but he did not publicly confirm or deny this. Last year, 19-year-old Santiago Lara made a spectacular claim on the popular Argentine talk show 'Intrusos En El Espectaculo'. Lara claimed he first found out about his past when he saw his face in a magazine. He said, "When I went to buy the newspaper for my grandmother as I always did the errands, I saw my own face in a magazine called 'Pronto' calling me his alleged son from La Plata (Buenos Aires Province)."
"My family always wanted to protect me from this, because for them it was a closed issue after my mother had died. I didn't want to know anything about that story until I was 16 years old. There was such a stir that I preferred to lock myself up and return to anonymity,” he said. "My dad, along with a lawyer we had at the time, told me what happened and how my mum met him.”
In October last year, a 23-year-old brunette called Magali Gil emerged as the latest possible child of Maradona. She is understood to have launched legal proceedings in April last year to try to prove her blood link.
Journalist Adrian Pallares told Argentinian TV program Intrusos: "Her mother didn't raise her but her adoptive family, who gave her all their love. The time came when she discovered she didn't belong to that family and that her father could be Diego Armando Maradona." In February, she broke her silence in Argentina to confirm the situation had not progressed and begged the football legend to agree to a DNA test.