Rio de Janeiro: Argentina's national team will be accompanied by legend Diego Maradona as they prepare for Sunday's FIFA World Cup final against Germany at the Maracana stadium.
Diego Maradona. File Pic
The 1986 World Cup winner has checked himself into the same hotel as the Albiceleste squad in Rio's beachside neighbourhood of Barra da Tijuca, reports Xinhua.
It will be the first time this tournament that Maradona will visit Alejandro Sabella's team, which has been based in Vespasiano, near the southeastern city of Belo Horizonte. Maradona has been in Brazil during the World Cup as a journalist for Venezuelan television broadcaster TeleSur.
His presence is understood to have irked some members of Argentina's Football Association. The entity's president Julio Grondona, with whom Maradona has a long-running feud, accused the former Barcelona and Napoli forward of bringing bad luck to the team during their group match against Iran in Belo Horizonte. The 53-year-old left the Mineirao stadium late in the match with the scores tied at 0-0 before Lionel Messi promptly scored the winning goal.
"Maradona is a curse," Grondona wrote after the match on Twitter. Maradona was captain of the Argentine team that beat Germany 3- 2 at the 1986 World Cup final at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
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