Diego Maradona was in Russia this past weekend to present the trophy at the Confederations Cup final. Predictably, the media posed a battery of questions to him about the world’s current geopolitical landscape. Here are some of his answers.
On Donald Trump:
“For me, [Trump] is more of a comic.”
“He’s like a cartoon to me, if we talk about politics… Every time I see him on TV, I switch the channel,” he added.
The 56-year-old footballer said he didn’t believe that America is currently the dominant force on the international arena.
“One shouldn’t forget about Russia, China, about North Korea. The US isn’t the county sheriff anymore. We’ll find a gun to match the one they have,” he said.
Maradona stressed that no one wants war, but “when you see such cartoon characters like Trump, you begin thinking that if such a man takes it into his head we may all become enemies.”
On American intervention in South American politics:
Latin America is feeling “increasing pressure from the right. By right, I mean the US,” which is bad for the continent, he said.
“The right is stronger now. The right has more money. They can buy a lot of things. And I’m outraged because of it – as under previous presidents [of Argentina], the people at least had food, but now in Argentina there are people who are starving. It’s sad. Very sad. And it’s not only Argentina. Brazil, as well,” he said.
On Vladimir Putin, who he called his “idol”:
“I think that after [Hugo] Chavez and Fidel [Castro], Putin – together with [Daniel] Ortega and Evo [Morales], represent the ‘top league’” of political leaders, said Maradona, who arrived in Moscow on Friday.
“Putin is a man who can bring peace to many in this world,” he added, describing the Russian leader as “a phenomenon; simply a phenomenon.”
What a world.