especially a big fan called Maradona
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Italian tennis player Potito Starace has lambasted former idol Diego Maradona for insulting him during his quarter-final loss to Argentina’s David Nalbandian in the Buenos Aires Open.
Argentine soccer great Maradona was supporting his compatriot Nalbandian from the stands but Starace, a fan of Maradona’s former team Napoli, was appalled by his conduct.
“Maradona insulted me as soon as the match began,” Starace told Italy’s Radio Kiss Kiss on Saturday.
“Diego made me lose my head, I went to the umpire and I said to him: ‘Either you throw him out or I’ll go bash a racket in his teeth’.”
World number 35 Starace became increasingly irate during his 4-6 7-6 6-4 defeat.
“I have always been a big fan of Napoli and Maradona and before the match I told journalists I would like to meet him. But I was very disappointed by his behaviour,” he said.
“I know that at the end of the match he came down to the dressing rooms but I had already left because I was very angry.”
Maradona led his country to World Cup glory in 1986 but has caused controversy throughout his life and been dogged by drugs and health problems.