Maradona plans to play exhibition matches

Updated: 11 May 2007 17:17 IST

Diego Maradona said he has kicked his alcoholism and plans to return playing friendly matches.

Maradona plans to play exhibition matches

Buenos Aires:

Diego Maradona said he has kicked his alcoholism and plans to return playing friendly matches.

Maradona was noticeably thinner than before when he appeared on a popular Argentine television program that ended in the early hours of Tuesday. He was conditionally released on Sunday after spending 16 days in several local clinics for treatment for what doctors said was excessive alcohol consumption that led to a form of hepatitis.

"I no longer drink alcohol and it's been 2 1/2 years since I've done drugs," said Maradona, 46, who has battled obesity and cocaine addiction since his 1997 retirement and undergone eight serious hospitalizations in the decade since. "I just drink juices."

He said he planned to return to playing "showbol," seven-a-side, small-field exhibition soccer, although he did not say when.

"For my two daughters I'm going to continue to the end," he said. "I'm alive and I want to keep living."

Despite his problems, Maradona remains a beloved figure in Argentina. He captained the national team to the 1986 World Cup title and is considered among soccer's all-time greats alongside Brazil's Pele.

Topics : Football
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