Cool Pope Francis probably regrets calling upon Diego Maradona to suit up for a charity match of the stars in Rome yesterday, after the soccer legend started a fight with compatriot Juan Sebastián Verón in the middle of a match meant to spread a message of peace and togetherness:
The incident appears to have stemmed from what Maradona perceived as overly aggressive play from Verón. You can see the tackle that immediately precipitated the spat here:
On one hand, Maradona probably overreacted to what looked like a minor and unintentional little trip—and it’s not clear how much Verón even touched him. On the other, knocking the bloated-bellied Maradona down is something close to flipping a turtle on its back. You can see how much of a struggle it is for him just to waddle around out there. Having to hoist himself off the ground is almost life-threatening.
Despite Maradona’s laudable fearlessness in the face of the much younger and bigger—well, taller—man he confronts, if we’re scoring at home, Verón still wins with his utterly dismissive response to the very large and angry pear yapping at him.