Diego Armando Maradona Junior, the Italian son of the late Argentine footballing legend, was awarded his father’s nationality on Thursday.
Diego Junior, a 34-year-old retired lower-division footballer, finalised his passport application in a ceremony at the Argentine consulate in Rome.
Speaking to AFP in Spanish with a distinct Argentine accent, he said he felt half Neapolitan and half-Argentine.
“I am Neapolitan because I always lived in Naples. I think a Neapolitan always thinks different from an Italian,” Diego Junior said.
“And the other 50 per cent (is Argentine) because my father always passed on to us this great love for Argentina, its people, the country.”
Diego Junior was born out of one of Maradona’s extra-marital affairs while he played for Napoli, and his father recognised him only after a court battle.
Still, he only had kind words for his father.
“My old man was always the person who could bring joy to people. Not just on the football field … he had a charisma that sometimes left you speechless,” he said.
Diego Junior also complained about the “many journalists” who “tried to paint (my father) as a monster. He was not like that.”
He described Maradona as a “loving man” who “liked telling jokes” and with whom his family was “very happy” when alone with him. (AFP)