"I will never forget this day" - Maradona

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Argentina's national soccer team coach Diego Maradona says he will never forget the day that he visited two historically disadvantaged schools in Pretoria.

The soccer star, who is currently in South Africa to inspect sports facilities at the TUKS Sports Academy of the High Performance Centre as a potential base camp for the team, said that the children at the school had stole his heart.

Learners from Kgotlelelang Primary School and Lowe Middle School had dressed up in Argentina's national team's colours of blue and white and broke out in loud cheers as Maradona entered the premises.

"I have received many welcomes in my football career across the world, but the warmth you have shown me will make me not to forget this day in my lifetime. With each kiss and every hug, I felt I had a friend, so this is not our last visit to your area as we are still coming back during the FIFA World Cup," he said.

Maradona visited the schools because they have represented Argentina at the Annual Group of Latin and Caribbean Countries Football Tournament since 2000.

The GaRankuwa schools also have been receiving aid from the overseas country and the Argentinean Embassy has been facilitating football coaching clinics by the country's coaches at the school.

Maradona's tour of South Africa will end Thursday when he visits Soccer City in Johannesburg, which will host the opening match of the World Cup and the final, as well as a game between Argentina and South Korea.

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