Maradona had a bizarre request for his body after death; Family deny his request

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Seen here, fans pack the streets as Diego Maradona's hearse is driven through Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona is set to be buried alongside his parents, despite one of his bizarre final requests. Pic: Getty

Few people had the power to say no to Diego Maradona during his extraordinary life but the Argentine legend's family have put their foot down after his death.

The world continues to mourn the devastating news of the 60-year-old's death, with tens of thousands of people lined up to say a final farewell to Maradona's coffin at Argentina's presidential palace.

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Following his passing, it's now emerged that Maradona told friends of a bizarre request for his body after death.

The 1986 World Cup winner told friends during coronavirus lockdown that when he died he wanted to be embalmed and put on show for fans, according to Martin Arevalo, a journalist who was close to the former Argentina captain.

"When the idea of a statue first came up he said: 'No, I want them to embalm me'," Arevalo told TyC sports.

Arevalo, one of the few reporters who enjoyed Maradona's confidence, confirmed the details of the footballer's wishes to Reuters, adding Maradona wanted "to remain with us forever".

Two other legends of Argentina's modern history, President Juan Peron and his wife Eva Peron, were embalmed.

One of the people present when Maradona proposed the idea was his lawyer Matias Morla, who suggested the former Napoli and Boca Juniors forward formalise his request with a notary, something he did on October 13, Argentine media reported.

Morla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Diego Maradona's death has left the sporting world devastated. Pic: Getty
Diego Maradona's death has left the sporting world devastated. Pic: Getty

The family, however, were set to bury Maradona alongside his parents at a cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

It comes as the footballing legend's lawyer has called for an investigation into the circumstances of his death, citing problems with the response time for emergency services.

Lawyer Matias Morla blasted first responders in a brutal statement released on Thursday.

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“Today is a day of deep pain, sadness and reflection,” he wrote.

“I feel in my heart the departure of a friend whom I honoured with my loyalty and companionship until his last days. I made my farewell with him in person and the wake should be an intimate occasion.

“It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend has not had attention or control from the legal health personnel.

“The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was CRIMINAL IDIOCY.

Huge lines of people are seen here queuing up to see Maradona's coffin.
Argentinians have been lining up in massive numbers to see Maradona's coffin before he is buried. Pic: Getty

“This fact should not be overlooked and I am going to ask that the consequences be investigated until the end. As Diego said, ‘You are my soldier, act without mercy’.”

Doctor Alfredo Cahe also questioned why Maradona was transferred from hospital to his home after undergoing brain surgery two weeks ago.

“Diego wasn’t looked after as he should have been,” Cahe told news show Telefe Noticias.

“He should have been kept in hospital, not taken to a house which wasn’t properly prepared.

“I’m in a state of complete shock. I’ve had so many ups and downs with Diego for 33 years and he’s just died in an unusual way.

Pictured here, devastated crowds pay their respect to the legendary Maradona.
Three days of mourning have been declared in Argentina after Maradona's death. Pic: Getty

“I have a lot of doubts. I don’t know why he was taken to that house.

“When he left hospital it didn’t seem logical to me. He should have stayed in a place with a good infrastructure, like when we took him to Cuba.”

with agencies