Maradona to play charity soccer match inCroatia
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - Diego Maradona will play in a charity soccer match in Croatia on June 17 with several other retired soccer stars, Croatian newspapers reported Wednesday.
Maradona, who captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup, agreed to play in the northern coastal city of Novi Vinodolski to raise money for a local orphanage.
Others involved are former Croatia internationals Davor Suker and Zvonimir Boban.
"I'm happy to come again to Croatia," Maradona was quoted as saying by two leading Croatian dailies. "It makes me even more happy to do a good deed. Humanitarian matches have become the meaning of my life."
The match is planned to accompany an ATP Senior Tour event in Novi Vinodolski on June 15-18, which will gather retired tennis stars such as Goran Ivanisevic, Boris Becker, and John McEnroe.
Organizers also hope to arrange a tennis match between Maradona and McEnroe.
The soccer match would be one of the few times Maradona, rated one of the greatest players ever, has been seen on a field since his retirement in 1997.
Maradona became obese under the weight of cocaine addiction and, on March 5, successfully underwent gastric bypass surgery to help try and reduce his weight by 50 kilograms (110 pounds) within a year.
Before the operation, the 1.68-meter (5-foot-6) Argentine weighed 121 kilograms (266 pounds).