Hero's welcome for Maradona

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pretoria - Argentinean football legend, Diego Maradona received a hero's welcome at historically disadvantaged primary schools in Tshwane on Tuesday.

On arrival at the gate of Lowe Middle School in Ga-Rankuwa, Maradona was welcomed by learners wearing his national team's jersey chanting "Maradona, Maradona" and "Argentina".

While he was hugging the delighted learners, some parents blew vuvuzela's, while others displayed placards which read: "welcome to Mzansi Maradona,"

Speaking through a translator, the Argentinean national team head coach said: "I've been to different places and countries as a footballer, but I will never forget this day in my lifetime.

"We are now friends and this is not our last visit to your area, we are still coming back during the soccer world cup," he said.

Maradona said he was emotionally touched when he saw the learners wearing his national team's jersey.

The Argentinean head coach is in the country to inspect Tshwane sports facilities to be used by his team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

On Monday, he viewed the Sports Academy of High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

Before proceeding to Kgotlelelang Primary School in Winterveldt, he donated caps and school bags to the learners.