Who is Diego Maradona's ex-wife Claudia Villafañe and ex-fiancée Rocia Oliva? The scandalous love life of a star
As the world mourns the death of a stalwart, here's a glimpse of his personal life and scandalous affairs
A legend is lost. Diego Maradona died from a heart attack three weeks after blood clot surgery and less than a month after turning 60. One of the greatest footballers, the Argentina player is remembered for leading his country to glorious victory at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico after scoring the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal.
Shining with the nickname El Pibe de Oro, he was popular for an eye for goal. Born on October 30, 1960 in Lanús to a poor family, he was raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, by his parents Diego Maradona Chitoro Senior and Dalma Salvadora Franco ‘Doña Tota’ along with four elder sisters and two younger brothers.
Did you know he was spotted by a talent scout at eight while playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja? When he was 12, his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games stumped spectators and he often named Brazilian playmaker Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best as his inspiration! As the world mourns the death of a superstar, here's a glimpse of his personal life and scandalous affairs.
Who was his wife Claudia Villafañe?
For Maradona love sparked when he locked eyes with Claudia Villafañe when she was just 17 years old. In November 1984 the two decided to make their relationship official and tied the knot. A popular actress who starred in ‘Muñeca brava’ (1998), ‘MasterChef Celebrity Argentina’ (2020) and ‘Maradona by Kusturica’ (2008) she later went on to become a TV personality and producer.
The pair have two daughters together, Dalma Nerea (born April 1987) and Gianinna Dinorah (born May 1989) but they decided to go their separate ways in 2003 ending 17 years of marriage. After their split daughter Dalma said it was the best solution for all and the two continued to be friends. In 2005 they traveled to Naples for a series of homages and were also spotted together at the 2006 World Cup.
Nonetheless their split had its fair share of controversies. During their divorce proceedings it was found out that he was the father of Diego Sinagra (born in Naples on September 20, 1986). At that time Maradona refused to undergo DNA tests to prove or disprove his paternity. In 2015 she denounced him for fraud over $6 million that went missing from his bank accounts.
While Maradona wasn't present at the court, he sent a message saying, “All I want is my money. I did not denounce anybody when I was robbed and I will not do so now. All I want is my money. I will not put forward any names as I have never done that. However, if they do not give me back my money, they will be sorry.” Villafañe's lawyer Fernando Burlando called a press conference and defended her saying, “If there was any tax evasion, the responsibility lies with the one who was paying that tax, which was not Claudia Villafane. The judicial system will give Maradona a major setback.” In 2018, he accused his wife and daughters of stealing $4.5 million from banks and asked them to be jailed.
Who was his ex-fiancée, Rocio Oliva?
Diego Maradona fell in love again when he met Rocio Oliva in 2012 and popped the question to the woman 30 years his junior in 2014 at a lavish party in Rome. An ex-professional women’s footballer for numerous clubs in Argentina, Oliva seemed to be the perfect match for him. In 2018 he sent her a message confessing he binged on white wine. “Hello my love. No heart attack, no injection, nothing. I don’t know where they’re getting it from that I had heart problems or I had to be an adrenaline shot. It all seems so mad, so stupid,” he told her then.
However, their relationship soon fell apart. According to a report by the El Nueve channel, they broke up after a series of arguments and fights. Quoting Argentine journalist Lio Pecoraro, The Sun reported, “The ex-footballer was thrown out of the house he gifted to Rocio in Bella Vista. The ex-No. 10 doesn't want to leave. The relationship between them is finished.” As per Sun, if rumors are to be believed, he also dated singer Lucia Galan from 1981-1982 and had an affair with Cristiana Sinagra in 1985 and they have a son together. He was also said to have dated Veronica Ojeda in 2013.
The footballer is father to five children. After accepting Diego as his son, he told Buenus Aires media, “I love him a lot and he’s very like me.” According to the BBC, he accepted the paternity of three further Cuban children in 2019.