- 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.
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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