Argentine football great Diego Maradona has admitted his drug addiction stopped him from fulfilling his potential as a player.
In an interview with Argentine television channel Tyc Sports on Thursday, the 53-year-old said he has not had a normal life and because of that he feels 25 years older, reports Xinhua.
“I am 53 going on 78 because my life hasn’t been normal,” Maradona said.
“I gave my opponents a big advantage due to my illness. Do you know the player I could have been if I hadn’t taken drugs?”
Maradona, part of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning team, is widely regarded among the greatest players in history.
“That needs to be said. People tell me, ‘Diego you are 53 years old now’. Fifty-three? I’ve lived 80 with everything that I’ve gone through,” the former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star added.
Maradona admitted he was still hurt by his sacking as Argentina coach after the 2010 World Cup.
“It was painful. I wanted to continue,” he said. “I didn’t watch the team in the (2014 World Cup) qualifiers but in the World Cup you feel it. It’s a lie that our blood is red. It’s blue and white. I wanted the team to win.”
The former No.10 lamented Argentina’s 0-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium in July.
“We didn’t have the players to take the game to Germany,” he said. “And Germany had 50 more variations than we did. It wasn’t a balanced match. Argentina didn’t have the conviction to win.”