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  • Diego Maradona in the stands before the match between France and Argentina in Kazan, Russia. June 30, 2018.

    Diego Maradona in the stands before the match between France and Argentina in Kazan, Russia. June 30, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 July 2018

Maradona is considered one of the most influential players in history and is also universally known for his leftist political stances.

The Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona said that, despite their defeat against Brazil, Mexicans were rising Latin America's morale with the landslide victory they handed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Sunday's presidential elections.

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“He finally won the elections in Mexico and truth is he made us all very happy... especially after the last [elections] in which they practically stole him the presidency,” Maradona said during his show De la mano del Diez on teleSUR.

Maradona is considered one of the most influential players in history and is also universally known for his political stance, always in favor of the oppressed people of the world. He has defended left-wing governments in Latin America, such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, as well as the Palestinian cause, and is friends with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Raul Castro, and Evo Morales.

He also had a strong friendship with Fidel Castro, who he says saved his life during his most difficult times with drug abuse, and with the late Hugo Chavez.

Also known as “El Pelu” or “El Pibe de Oro,” Maradona said Lopez Obrador's victory means the Latin American people are “alive.” Maradona hopes that, after this, Lula comes back to the office of President in Brazil and that there's a new “Argentinian explosion” in his home country.

Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures as he addresses supporters after polls closed in the presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico July 2, 2018. Photo | Reuters

“I don't want to provoke any violence with this... but it's unacceptable that the people are lied to as Macri lied to it with all the projects he said he had,” he said.

Going back to the field, Maradona said that Mexico “gave it all, it did whatever it could until running out of legs” and left the World Cup with dignity. “I wish Argentina had fought the match as Mexico did,” he said.

Maradona, who watched his side eliminated 4-3 by France last weekend in Kazan, was asked if he fancied another shot at the job – even though current coach Jorge Sampaoli has a contract until 2022.

"Yes, and I would do it for free," Maradona said on the show. "I wouldn't ask for anything in return."

And regarding Mexico's relationship with the U.S., Maradona hopes the will-be-president will be able to manage the relationship with Trump, who has been blatantly hostile towards their southern neighbor.

“Let's see how [Lopez Obrador] he does with Trump, it's very difficult to rule for him, but be careful, we're still alive... keep on going Lopez Obrador, we're still gaining grounds,” he said.

He also wished the best for Colombia in their match with England, saying that there's a new, different Colombia craving for peace and that “a victory in football would help them a lot. God will be with Colombia.”

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