Diego Maradona's other legacy: Famous Argentine footballer notoriously fathered several illegitimate children

In 2016, Maradona admitted he is the father of Diego Sinagra. Born in Naples on September 20, 1986, Sinagra is an Italian footballer


                            Diego Maradona's other legacy: Famous Argentine footballer notoriously fathered several illegitimate children
Diego Maradona (Getty Images)

On Wednesday, November 25, Argentine football legend Diego Maradona died from a cardiac arrest at the age of 60. As per news reports, he suffered a heart attack two weeks after leaving the hospital where he underwent surgery on a blood clot in his brain. 

Prior to his death, Maradona left the hospital on November 11 after spending eight days there for emergency brain surgery. According to the Daily Mail, he had driven away from the Olivos clinic just before 6 pm on Wednesday. His lawyer Matias Morlahas said that the iconic player would continue to receive treatment for alcohol dependency, according to the site. Maradona was expected to stay in a house nearby with his daughters.

Maradona is survived by his longtime partner, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former wife, Claudia Villafane. Earlier this year, when his daughter implied that Maradona might now be well, the footballer said, "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."

Maradona had then 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. 

So, let’s take a look at his family, especially his children. Maradona met his wife Claudia Villafane when she was 17 and he 19. They married in 1989 and were wed for 25 years. But the pair endured a turbulent relationship over three decades. Maradona has two children -- daughters Dalma and Giannina -- with Villafane.

In 2016, Maradona admitted he 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.”

He said that his mother "met Maradona through Ferrito (his former close friend)" and that she told Lara's non-biological father “the truth” one week before she died of cancer in 2003.

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