Thu, May 22, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Maradona meets his son

AP , ROME

Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona met his 17-year-old son for the first time after the teen surprised his father on the golf course during a charity tournament, news reports said Tuesday.

Diego Maradona Jr., himself a budding soccer player in Naples, plotted to meet his father during the tournament in Fiuggi on Monday and only told his family of his plans, the ANSA news agency quoted the boy's mother, Christina Sinagra, as saying.

The Naples daily Il Mattino said Diego Jr. snuck into the tournament and approached his father on the green, who at first thought he was seeking an autograph.

The former star then realized who he was and the two chatted for a good 40 minutes, embracing one another at one point.

"I'm very very very happy," ANSA quoted Sinagra as saying. "The words that were said belong only to them, but one thing is certain: there is great affection between them and the two will see each other again."

Maradona lost a paternity suit in 1991 to Sinagra, a Naples resident who has raised her son alone with the financial support of the ex-soccer star.

Diego Jr. has played with the junior teams of Napoli, the club where Diego Maradona spent some of his best years.

Maradona, one of the greatest soccer stars ever, still is very popular in Naples and said in recent interviews he would like to rejoin the southern Italian club as manager.

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