Diego Maradona came on stage in the United Arab Emirates to defend President Cristina Fernández saying that “all Argentines must be proud of the government we have” and attacked some members of the opposition arguing they “can’t even cook a decent stew”.
“Those who criticize the president are the same old ones that were born in a golden cradle and don’t even know how to prepare a decent stew”, said the former football star while participating at a barbeque given by the Argentine diplomatic delegation in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
After the “asado”, Maradona, currently working in Abu Dhabi as Sports Ambassador of the kingdom, visited Cristina Fernández at the Emirate Palace Hotel.
“Being here in the Emirates, one realizes how important the efforts made by Cristina and her administration are”, Maradona said and added: “I can say this because I see how she works on daily basis to make a better country”
To end, Maradona aimed to the opposition and took Deputy and business tycoon Francisco De Narváez as an example of his beliefs.
“He doesn’t even know how to make soup. He just talks about things he never experienced. He’s never suffered the miseries that millions of Argentines went through. They better learn how to prepare a decent stew, only then we can talk”.
However the Buenos Aires media recalled that Maradona who likes to make political and controversial statements, despite his confession of ‘cristinista’ has been a good faithful incumbent with each of the presidents since the return of democracy to Argentina.
In effect he has made statements in support of Nestor Kirchner, Fernando de la Rúa, Carlos Menem and Raul Alfonsin.
His first contact in democracy at Government House was when the celebration from the iconic balconies of Casa Rosada, after having conquered the World Cup of 1986, played in Mexico. He cheered to the crowd next to then President Alfonsin. He was faithful to Alfonsin until his recent death (2009).
“I received the news with great sadness. It was a great impact”, admitted Maradona who recalled how important Alfonsin had been for the return of democracy to Argentina.
In the nineties Maradona became close to Carlos Menem and dedicated his biography “I am Diego” to the president and in an interview said that if Menem asked him he would willingly accompany him in the presidential re-election ticket.
Maradona in the book full of anecdotes mentions that in 1995 he was invited to see a major league soccer match at the Olivos presidential residence. Two days later he was back with his family.
“Menem helped me when I was going through a bad moment. He never asked anything in exchange. I went to see him when the tragedy of the death of his son Carlitos in March 1995. I wanted to support him, to show I cared for him. Later when in 1999 the ruling Peronist party lost the elections “I also went to see him; I felt I should show the man I cared for him and his open attitude”.
But in 1999 when De la Rúa was running for president with the opposition Alliance, Maradona was also around. “He’s a very trustful man. Between (Eduardo) Duhalde and De la Rúa everybody knows whom I choose. Of that couple I prefer ‘chupete’ (De la Rúa)” he said from Italy in November 1998.
However in July 2001 he changed teams when from Havana where he was undergoing treatment for drugs he recommended De la Rúa “to wake up from the siesta”. He said “I’m telling the ‘prezz’ to wake up. People need you, I know you are capable but the siesta is over”.
Maradona was close to Nestor Kirchner from the very beginning in May 2003. He met several times with him and with Cristina Fernandez and in one of those occasions he visited the Olivos residence to receive government’s support after having been sacked as manager of the Argentine national team.
He was present at the funeral of Nestor Kirchner October 2010 and at all moments supported the government of Cristina Fernandez. But he has also been a close friend of Mauricio Macri the conservative mayor of Buenos Aires City, an ‘electoral enemy’ of Cristina Fernandez. Macri for several years was president of Boca Juniors, the most popular football team in Argentina and for which Maradona played.
And if there were any doubts about his current devotion to ‘cristinismo’ during the barbecue in Abu Dhabi he had a picture taken with ministers holding a flag condemning the Clarin group, which is currently in an ongoing legal battle with Cristina Fernandez over the media law tailored to dismember the powerful group