Stoichkov feels certain guilt for Maradona’s crazy living
The former Bulgaria and FC Barcelona striker looked back on his relationship with Diego Maradona as part of an ESPN interview
The 1994 Ballon d’Or winner and star striker of Bulgarian national team, Hristo Stoichkov, recalled, in an interview with ESPN his relationship with Diego Armando Maradona, with both players maintaining a good relationship right until Maradona’s death in November 2020.
“I feel guilty at times for not separating him from the vultures that hung around Diego as we had a strong friendship. Sometimes I used to sit at home and think, can’t you do something and I do feel a little guilty. I had the opportunity to do something and it made me angry to see Diego surrounded by individuals in suits and ties who cared little for his welfare,” he stated.
Despite his condition and success, the Bulgarian star affirms that Maradona “never distanced himself from his friends” and that the blame for everything was “those guys who made him feel alone”. He also adds that he maintained close contact with the Argentine through to 2016. “I had all the telephone numbers I could have from him. We talked many times. The last time was February, 2016. Then he called me personally for my birthday. Since then, I have never been able to speak to him again although we sent messages. He was always asleep, resting, playing, walking.”
Maradona made an impact on so many lives and Stoichkov greatly appreciates having been his friend for many years. “I saw him suffer so much... and may he rest in peace,” he concluded.