Diego Maradona has another two children in Spain, a close friend of the football legend has sensationally claimed.
Carlos Ferro Viera lived in Cuba with the former Napoli and Barcelona star after he moved to the Caribbean island in February 2000 to fight cocaine addiction.
The former footballer, officially father to five children, has been linked to another six including four in Cuba.
Former nightclub boss Carlos told an Argentinian TV station during an interview Diego had fathered two more children who are now in Spain with their mum. He did not reveal their names.
The claim left presenter Marina Calabro speechless, as one of Maradona’s own daughters has joked in the past he could virtually put a starting eleven on the pitch with his offspring but not two subs as well.
Carlos, who was in close contact with Diego for eight years during some of the worst excesses of the star’s turbulent private life, appeared to suggest the mother of the two children was Laura Cibilla.
Argentinian-born Laura, a waitress at a Buenos Aires nightclub called La Diosa, is known in her home country as the only woman who lost a paternity suit against the soccer legend after he agreed to take a DNA test more than a decade ago to prove he was not the father of her son.
The test is said to have come back negative but Carlos is insisting she had another two children who were Maradona’s. The current whereabouts of Laura, who according to reports in Argentina now lives in Spain with her family, is not known.
Diego, whose death last Wednesday from heart failure is being probed by prosecutors, had recognised two sons and three daughters by four different women including his ex-wife Claudia Villafane and former long-term partner Veronica Ojeda as his own.
Gianinna Maradona, one of the former footballer’s two daughters by Villafane, joked last year after the names of three children said to be his in Cuba were made public: “Just three more needed for the team of 11. You can do it!!!”
In October last year a 24-year-old brunette called Magali Gil emerged as the latest possible member of Maradona’s ever-growing brood.
Popular Argentinian TV programme Intrusos said she had a young daughter which would have made the former Naples and Barcelona star a grandfather if he was confirmed as her dad. She has since given birth to another child and is understood to have launched legal proceedings in April last year to try to prove her blood link.
The Magali bombshell first emerged a month after 19-year-old Santiago Lara, who comes from the same Argentinian city of La Plata where Maradona managed Gimnasia y Esgrima, made a renewed TV appeal for the football legend to recognise him as his son.
Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla said months before the star’s untimely death the retired footballer would assume his responsibilities as Santiago’s father if the blood link was confirmed.
Morla has previously been quoted as saying “Everyone knows that in Argentina there’s Santiago and another person that people are talking about”, although other media in the South American country have speculated the 11th child that would make up Diego’s football team is a fourth Cuban.
The Cuban trio whose names have already been made public are Joana, Lu and Javielito, born after Maradona moved to the Caribbean island.
Mr Morla, who admitted in October 2018 the ex-footballer had been “naughty” in Cuba and confessed “There’s going to be a lot of Maradonas, a lot, even if some people don’t like it”, has confirmed the trio met him during the funeral of Fidel Castro.
Over recent years Maradona had recognised his 34-year-old son Diego Junior, born from an extra-marital affair with Italian model Cristina Sinagra, and 24-year-old Jana who met her dad for the first time nearly six years ago following a court fight by her mum Valeria Sabalain.
Maradona also had two daughters by his ex-wife, 33-year-old Dalma and 31-year-old Giannina, and a seven-year-old son called Diego Fernando by former girlfriend Veronica Ojeda.
Dalma, Giannina and Jana were pallbearers at Diego’s funeral at private cemetery Jardin Bella Vista on the north-west outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Italy-based Diego Junior was prevented from attending after being hospitalised with coronavirus.