Argentine police have raided the house of Diego Maradona’s ex-wife, Claudia Villafane, whom he is suing for allegedly stealing hundreds of pieces of memorabilia, in what local media have dubbed the “T-shirt war”.
The raid took place in the early hours of Wednesday in the Devoto neighbourhood of Buenos Aires under the supervision of lawyers from both parties, according to Argentine TV channel TN.
It is understood that the house belongs to Villafane, but she doesn’t live there now.
Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla told reporters that they had not found the items in question. He lashed out at the judge overseeing the case and suggested that Maradona was the victim of political persecution because he supported former presidents Nestor and Cristina Kirchner.
Maradona said in a furious rant on Instagram on Thursday: “The circus in Devoto just finished and it was more of the same. I still haven’t recovered what was stolen from me. They laugh at justice and nobody does anything about it.”
“How can it be that the judge is still wondering whose T-shirts, boots and trophies they are? It’s like when they asked you what colour Saint Martin’s white horse was in school,” he said, referring to the Christian saint commonly depicted on horseback.
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Acaba de terminar el circo que armaron en Devoto, y fue más de lo mismo. Siguen sin devolverme lo que me robaron. Se ríen de la justicia y nadie hace nada. ¿Cómo puede ser que la jueza se siga preguntando de quién son las camisetas, los botines y los trofeos? Es como cuando te preguntaban en el colegio "¿de qué color era el caballo blanco de San Martín?". Hace 3 años que no tengo respuesta. ¡Despiértese jueza Vilma Nora Días, le están tomando el pelo! ¿No ve que en las camisetas, arriba del 10, dice Maradona? Y si la justicia me está pasando factura por ser Kirchnerista, que se queden tranquilos, ya falta poco para que volvamos...
“I have not had an answer in three years. Wake up, judge Vilma Nora Dias, they are pulling your leg! Can't you see Maradona [written] above the 10 on the shirts? If justice is punishing me for being a Kirchnerist, they can relax, we will be back soon...”
Diego Maradona and Claudia Villafane married in 1989 and had two daughters together before divorcing in 2004.
The retired World Cup winner, who has had a tumultuous life following the divorce, accused Villafane in 2015 of stealing around $9 million from his bank accounts and investing the cash without his consent in Florida real estate, which she denied.
He also claims she has stolen over 450 items he collected during his years as a football player, including shirts, boots, trophies, gifts and other goods with sentimental value. Specifically, the trove is said to include the jerseys in which he won the 1986 FIFA World Cup and gifts from prominent figures such as Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi.