Argentina legend Diego Maradona said on Wednesday June 27 that he is fine after being treated by paramedics at the World Cup stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Tuesday after watching his former team secure a dramatic victory over Nigeria.
Maradona posted a message on his Instagram account in which he said he had a problem with his neck.
“I want to tell everyone that I am fine, that I am not, neither was I interned,” the message read. “In the halftime of the game against Nigeria, my neck hurt a lot and I suffered a decompensation. I was checked by a doctor and he recommended me to go home before the second half, but I wanted to stay because we were risking it all. How could I leave? I send a kiss to everyone, thanks for the support!”
Video posted online after Argentina’s win showed the enigmatic Maradona, who had been expressive throughout the game from his midlevel seat, requiring help to return to the adjoining luxury box.
A photograph showed paramedics treating the 57-year-old in the box. South American television network TeleSUR, for which Maradona has been filming a show during the World Cup, later posted a photo of Maradona and said he was fine and about to board a flight to Moscow.
Maradona, Argentina’s hero at their title-winning World Cup in 1986, had been a common sight on FIFA’s cameras throughout the game and celebrated Argentina’s winning goal in the 86th minute by showing an obscene gesture with both hands.
Argentina were staring at elimination in the group stage before Marcos Rojo volleyed home the winner, sparking mass celebrations among the crowd. Maradona leaned over a railing and displayed his middle fingers while cursing at those below him.
The camera feed, which is controlled by the tournament organisers, quickly cut away. It was the second time this month that middle fingers were shown on camera at the World Cup, after singer Robbie Williams flipped off the cameraswhile singing in the opening ceremony before the first game.
Argentina would have been eliminated with a draw, but the win allowed them to finish second in Group D, and Lionel Messi & Co. will go up against France in the round of 16 on Saturday.