Diego Maradona’s stolen watch recovered, he says

MEXICO CITY — Diego Maradona’s stolen watch was recovered Wednesday.

Authorities confirmed that the watch was recovered Wednesday night at the rescue home of a 51-year-old suspected drug trafficker at a hotel in Mexico City. He was being held in custody at an anti-narcotics unit after he was detained at the hotel, said a spokesman for the Knights Templar cartel. The spokesman said he spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide information about the case.

The World Cup winner, who famously gave Argentina the 1991 victory over England that sent it to the semifinals of the World Cup and marked his international career by being sent off, claimed he’d been mugged in the capital, but he declined to say by whom.

“I’ve been robbed and, yes, it’s my watch,” Maradona said. “I’m 100 percent sure the one who’s taken it is the one who robbed me, but I won’t go into the details, including the city and a lot more. Everything will show.”

The alleged drug trafficker did not make a statement, but Maradona’s lawyer said the politician’s family is planning to approach the police with a complaint.

Maradona also said he was moving to a new city because he was feeling safe, though security in Mexico City remains a constant concern. A couple of weeks ago, Maradona and former Mexican President Vicente Fox appeared at a Maradona award ceremony with a bodyguard.

“He is free. He didn’t have any money or possessions stolen or anything like that,” Maradona’s lawyer, Gustavo de Hoyos, said. “His security guard and driver were his priority and they’re fine. But as they say, a person can’t go on liberty and liberty without feeling, you know? And he’s feeling a little tense.”

Maradona thanked the Mexican public for their support, and said he was holding off on discussing what to do with the watch until the police investigated further.

While Maradona frequently travels, it was the first time since his retirement as a player in 2001 that he’s been in Mexico City. His last return was in 2009 as a coach of a Copa America team. He led the squad of former Mexico national team players, including Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, to second place in the championship, but was not asked to return in 2014.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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