Over-enthusiastic fans a headache for security personnel (Maradona Diary)

December 6th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 6 (IANS) Security personnel Saturday had a harrowing time at the Salt Lake Stadium, where a large number of people managed to enter the ground and come near Maradona. A few of them time and again tried to touch their hero, throwing the policemen into a tizzy.A police officer, on duty to protect Maradona, had to repeatedly catch hold of people and literally carry them away from the soccer star.

But while on other days, he would have behaved rough and tough with such people, Saturday he seemed to appreciate the emotions of the soccer loving city. He was all smiles even as he separated the over-enthusiastic fans from Maradona.


Where is the head?

Diego Maradona was momentarily taken aback at least on one occasion Saturday - the first day of his two-day trip to the city.

When teenage artist Rajarshee Chatterjee presented him a portrait of revolutionary Argentine leader Che Guevara, an overwhelmed Maradona spontaneously embraced him. But by then, the youngster had bent down to touch Maradona’s feet in the traditional Indian style of showing reverence to elders. Maradona could embrace only thin air, and looked bewildered.


Passionate Maradona full of humour

Lensmen had a field day. Maradona, in great spirits throughout Saturday, obliged them with a variety of poses which made for very good mood pictures. He thumped his chest, waved to milling crowd, sent down flying kisses, and embraced youngsters and the players who turned out at an exhibition match in his honour.

At the press conference in a five star hotel, Maradona cracked jokes and displayed his sense of humour as he fielded a barrage of queries on a wide range of issues.

To a query from a scribe about the meaning of ‘Diego’ and ‘Armando’, Maradona said; “I only know that Diego is the name of my father, and Armando - that of my mother. I don’t know anything else”.

On another occasion, when a scribe whether he considered himself or Pele as the greatest footballer, Maradona said with a chuckle: “My mother says I am the greatest. Because my mother considers me the greatest, I also consider myself as the greatest.”

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