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Diego Maradona: flight of the enchanter – from the archive, 6 April 1991

6 April 1991 Diego Maradona was the world’s greatest footballer and a millionaire many times over. But the shanty-town kid from Buenos Aires never lost his taste for the underworld and he has become embroiled in a Neapolitan saga of call girls and cocaine, big money and bad blood

Diego Maradona was the world’s greatest footballer. A millionaire many times over, when he signed for Napoli FC the city celebrated for five days. The Pope requested an audience. But the shanty-town kid from Buenos Aires never lost his taste for the underworld. He has become embroiled in a Neapolitan saga of call girls and cocaine, big money and bad blood. He has given up football. And now he’s been betrayed by the godfathers of the gutter

In the early hours of January 7 this year, the telephone rang in a dingy, gas-heated house in the old, labyrinthine Spanish Quarter of Naples. A rugged 46-year-old woman answered, woken by the call.

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