- Diego Maradona gave a wild display at a FIFA World Cup match on Tuesday.
- Argentina thrilled in a 2-1 win over Nigeria, booking its place in a Round of 16 game against France on Saturday.
- But Maradona stole the headlines after he binged white wine, fell asleep at halftime, and swore at some fans below his VIP box.
- He then required assistance leaving his seat, received medical attention, and flew in a private jet to Moscow.
- Read all of Business Insider’s World Cup coverage here.
Diego Maradona gave a wild display at a FIFA World Cup match on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina’s national soccer team to the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup, but the out-of-control antics of Maradona seemed to overshadow the country’s thrilling Group D win over Nigeria.
Before the game had even started, Maradona unfurled a banner – of himself – over his VIP box at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
BBC cameras picked up on further erratic behaviour as he danced with a Nigerian soccer fan, celebrated the team’s first goal in bizarre fashion, and fell asleep at halftime.
He even pumped his middle fingers into the air when Argentina grabbed a late winner courtesy of Marcos Rojo. Getty photographers captured the moment as his friends attempted to hold him back so he did not fall over a glass barrier.
Maradona is an Argentine hero for leading the country to the 1986 World Cup title, but his over-the-top celebrations on Tuesday resulted in medical treatment.
He was even filmed requiring assistance leaving the VIP area.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 26, 2018
The ESPN Deportes Radio journalist Diego Cora tweeted that Maradona was taken to a hospital, though Maradona told his Instagram followers he was OK.
“I just want to tell you that I’m fine,” Maradona said. “I have not been hospitalized.”
Maradona said a doctor advised him to go home at halftime because he was suffering from “strong pain” in his neck. As Argentina had only a precarious lead of 1-0, Maradona said he wanted to stay and show his support to the team as it was playing for “everything.”
“How could I leave?” he said. “A kiss to all and thanks for the support … Diego will still be there for a while!”
He attributed the cause of his collapse to a “white wine” binge and is believed to have boarded a private jet to Moscow.
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) June 26, 2018
Argentina is set to play France in a Round of 16 match on Saturday.
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