Football legend Diego Maradona had his earrings seized by Italian authorities Friday to help pay off his back taxes, according to media reports.
The current coach of Argentina’s national team was staying at a clinic in northern Italy in a bid to lose weight when finance police swooped, Reuters.com reported. The jewelry was said to be worth €4,000 ($5,888). Italian tax authorities say he owes the country €31 million ($45 million) in back taxes from when he played for top league club Napoli between 1984 and 1991. But Maradona says the Serie A club should have paid the taxes. Three years ago, tax police took two Rolex watches from him when he was back in Italy for a benefit match. The 48-year old is under intense pressure in his native Argentina after a dismal World Cup qualifying campaign left his star-studded team in danger of missing their first tournament since 1970.
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After a recent defeat against Paraguay he was quoted by FIFA.com as saying, “I am not afraid of criticism. I am afraid of nobody. I am doing my job, I have my team and I am going to go forward. “I have been battling critics since I was 15 years old. Now I am 48 and I am going to continue to battle with them [the press].”