Diego Maradona autographs shirt to help poor district of Buenos Aires

‘We’re going to get through it,” wrote the football legend on the shirt in an upbeat message to a country battling to stop the spread of Covid-19. Argentina is also facing serious economic hardship as it struggles with debt repayments. The jersey is being raffled to raise money for a working class neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
A man holds a replica of Argentina's football team jersey used during the final of the 1986 World Cup and signed by Diego Maradona.

The raffle will be restricted to those who have already given donations in an initiative that has collected hygiene products, masks and around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of food for charity.

“Diego can’t even imagine what he has done for us, it’s priceless. I’ll be grateful to him until the day I die,” said local resident Marta Gutierrez.

Maradona spent his formative years in Buenos Aires, playing for Argentinos Juniors and his beloved Boca Juniors before his transfer to Barcelona in 1982 for a then world record fee.

The peak of his career came at the 1986 World Cup where his individual brilliance lifted Argentina to the ultimate prize in world football, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final.

Maradona is the latest football legend to assist in charitable efforts during the pandemic, with current global superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both making significant donations to hospitals.

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