Maradona taken to hospital in Argentina

ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP

Diego Maradona has been admitted to hospital in Argentina with undisclosed "health problems" although it is not related to COVID-19 and his condition is not thought to be serious.

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, was admitted to the Ipensa clinic in La Plata to undergo tests, his doctor Leopoldo Luque said.

He had been feeling poorly for some time and will be held under observation for "at least three days".

"He is not well psychologically and that has an impact on his physical wellbeing," Luque told reporters. "He's not as well as I would like and as well as I know he can be. He needs help, this is the time to help him."

"Diego is a person who is sometimes excellent and sometimes not so much," he added. "He could be 10 thousand times better. And bringing him here helps him.

"It's very difficult being Maradona."

Luque did not give specific details of Maradona's ailment but said it was not related to COVID-19.

Maradona, who coaches the local club Gimnasia y Esgrima, last appeared in public on his 60th birthday last Friday before his side's league match against Patronato.

He was gifted a plaque and a cake to celebrate the occasion but he did not stay to watch the game and witnesses said he looked unwell and weak.

The former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors player has suffered frequent periods in hospital over the years, often due to the extravagant lifestyle that accompanied and followed his playing career.

The former Napoli striker was admitted to hospital in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach.

He also fell ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed passing out in an executive box at the Argentina-Nigeria game.

Maradona was taken into hospital in 2004 with severe heart and respiratory problems linked to drug use. He later underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.

In 2007, he checked himself into a clinic in Buenos Aires to help him overcome alcohol abuse problems.

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