Diego Maradona blasted for middle finger celebration

2018-06-27 00:07
Diego Maradona (Supplied)

Cape Town - Diego Maradona was blasted on social media for his crude middle finger celebration as Argentina secured qualification for the Soccer World Cup Round of 16 by beating Nigeria.

Marcos Rojo's late winner in a 2-1 win over the Super Eagles ensured that Argentina avoided an embarrassing group-stage exit.

At the final whistle a seemingly inebriated Maradona celebrated wildly in the stands while showing two middle fingers towards the pitch in a dramatic win for his country.

The World Cup winner received strong backlash for his actions with many calling his actions unbecoming for one of the greats of the game.

Former England stars and fellow pundits Rio Ferdinand and Gary Linker blasted his antics with the latter calling him a "laughing stock."

Ferdinand said: "His career as a football player on the pitch was up there with the best, but unfortunately there are moments like this that do arrive. It is not nice to see that."

Lineker added: "There's Diego Maradona celebrating. I think there's a danger he's becoming a laughing stock I'm afraid.

"(He's) let himself down with that celebration. You understand how he's euphoric, but this kind of reaction... really, Diego?"

Video footage later emerged showing Maradona close to collapsing and having to be assisted from his seat with reports suggesting that he was later rushed to hospital. Images showed paramedics had to be called to assist the 57-year-old at the St Petersburg stadium.

Sources later confirmed that Maradona had been stabilised in hospital. Maradona has had a series of health problems, including cocaine addiction. In 2007 he reportedly came close to death.

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