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My mother says I am the greatest: Maradona

December 06, 2008 18:52 IST

Soccer legend Diego Maradona on Saturday refused to be drawn into any debate over who is the greatest, Pele or himself, with the Argentine jocularly saying that he's the best ever as his mother Armando used to think the same way.

Addressing newspersons in Kolkata, Maradona when asked to respond to the debate over who's the all time greatest footballer, chose to reply in a rather jocular manner.

In fact, not so long ago, former German captain Karl-Heinz Rummenigge during his visit to city had also said that Maradona was better than the Brazilian legend Pele.

Asked what he thinks about the comparison, the 48-year-old said, "It's his (Rummenigge's) personal view. But my mother considered me to be the greatest footballer in the world and I think if my mother considers it then surely I am the greatest footballer in the world."

The 1986 World Cup triumph beating West Germany in the final when he was the captain of Argentina was the best moment of his life, Maradona said, and in a rather jocular way added that his 'Hand of God' goal was the best ever he scored.

"Hand of God is the greatest goal," he quipped. "That is definitely the best goal in my life. The win (in 1986) was the best in my life. I did well in the 1990s, but that (1986 World Cup win) was the best ever achievement in my life."

He said he was here to serve the sport so in that way if people call him God of football then he can be so.

"God is only one in this world. They considered me as the God. But God is in this world to help others. I am here to help football. I am not God. But, maybe I am the God of football," said the Argentine legend.

Maradona, however, regretted for not having spent more time with his two daughters Dalma Nerea and Giannina Dinorah.

"I have a lot to lament in my life. I could not spend much time with my two daughters. I had a very bad time in my life for which I could not dedicate much time to them. That is one thing I will always regret. But I think there are times I can recover for which I could not do much."

He said to become happy one has to lead a good personal life and the greatest happiness is the company of one's children.

"To stay healthy you have to be happy. Better to be calm to stay healthy. The greatest happiness when you wake up in the morning is to see your daughters. That is the greatest joy. It's the peace of mind that makes somebody healthy," he said.

For Maradona, two persons who have influenced most in his life was the 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo and the former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

"Both have contributed a lot in my life. Carlos was with me in my bad times. Even Fidel Castro contributed a lot in my life. I have shared a lot of cigars with Castro, we have talked about a lot, on everything, politics and football."

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