18:03 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Diego Maradona holds a jersey of the football club Fujairah FC, during a press conference where he was announced as the upcoming manager for the team, in the Gulf emirate of Fujairah on May 14, 2017

    Football Star Maradona Heaps Praise on Putin, Calls Him a 'Phenomenon'

    © AFP 2019 / STRINGER
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    In an interview with RT, Argentine football (soccer) legend Diego Maradona specifically gave kudos to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he called "a phenomenon."

    Speaking to RT, Argentine football icon Diego Maradona confirmed that he plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss preparations for the 2018 World Cup, due to be held in Russia between June 14 and July 15. He declined to elaborate.

    "No one knows anything," he said with a smile when asked if he knows the subject of his upcoming meeting with the Russian President.

    Maradona heaped praise on Putin's political image, also touting the Russian leader's significant contribution to world peace.

    "Putin is a phenomenon. I think that after Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, Putin, along with Daniel Ortega and Evo Morales, represents the so-called top league. Putin is a person who can bring peace to many on this planet," Maradona said.

    When asked what he thinks of US President Donald Trump as a politician, Maradona said that he does not see him in this capacity.

    "It's hard for me to talk about him as a politician and I do not see him in this role. I'd rather see him as a hero of a comic strip or a cartoon. Every time I see him on TV, I switch the channel," he said.

    The interview came a few days after Maradona came to Moscow to visit VTB Arena, a state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium currently under construction in the Russian capital.

    Earlier, he said that he was a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin and was ready to participate in the preparations for the 2018 World Cup.

    Many sport experts and fans consider Maradona the greatest football player of all time. He was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Brazil's Pele.


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