Maradona being Maradona: Argentina football great slaps reporter

Over the weekend, the 53-year-old former Argentina footballing great appeared to lightly slap an Argentine journalist in the face, claiming the man had winked at the mother of his youngest child.

Argentine football great Diego Maradona, a former Al Wasl manager, has had another falling out with the media. Jeff Topping/The National
Powered by automated translation

Whether it happens within the four corners of a football pitch or the four corners of the world, Diego Maradona cannot seem to avoid controversy.

Over the weekend, the 53-year-old former Argentina footballing great appeared to lightly slap an Argentine journalist in the face, claiming the man had winked at the mother of his youngest child.

Maradona, cornered by several Argentine TV stations as he and his ex-wife left a theatre, sat in the front seat of his car, answering questions from several TV outlets as Veronica Ojeda and their son, Diego Fernando, listened to the impromptu interview on Saturday.

After rolling up the window, Maradona got out of the car and approached one reporter, confronting him.

Maradona was filmed calling the man an "idiot" before striking him across the face.

The 1986 World Cup-winning captain said: “Why mess with my wife if I do not mess with you?”

The reporter is alleged to have winked at Ojeda.

Because the slap was caught on camera, it immediately made headlines in Argentina, where Maradona ranks as the nation’s biggest sports figure.

Last month, the former footballer was spotted with Evi Amodeo, 25, leading to reports that she could be his girlfriend.

Five years ago, as coach of the Argentine national team, he drew a two-month Fifa ban over crude remarks aimed at reporters.

Before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was driving a utility vehicle that rolled over a reporter’s foot.

Maradona is well known in the UAE, having served as manager at Arabian Gulf League side Al Wasl in 2011/12.

Since then, he has worked as a “sports ambassador” for Dubai and hosted a reality TV show.

Last August, Maradona joined Argentine Primera D club Deportivo Riestra’s staff as “spiritual coach”.

Watch the video clip of Maradona’s altercation with the reporter here: