April 20, 2004

THE SADDEST REPORT

MARINA ZUCCHI (reporter of Clarín)    E-mail: giornalista@ubbi.com

"If I could be born again, I would ask God to give me the same things, and also the chance of doing again all the plays and the goals that entertained the people of Naples, and in my country, live for the Argentinians...

They took me from Villa Fiorito and sent me with a kick to Paris, to the Eiffel Tower. I was wearing the same trousers, the only ones I had, that I used in the winter and in the summer. That's where I fell, and they requested, and they wanted, that I would say the things that I had to say, that I would do what they wanted me to do. And I did it. I did what I could. Nobody will convince me that my mistakes with drugs have changed my feelings. I am still teh same, I am el Diego...."

Almost four years ago, after escaping death, Diego finished with these words his autobiographical book from La Havana. Today life is challenging him once again and, like in a football match, is trying to dribble his health problems and came out victorious one more time.

Everything started on Sunday, when Pelusa had come back to his "home", the Bombonera. He was clearly in bad condition, tired, and a few hours later his internation in the clinic was big news all over the world.

Connected to a breathing machine and completely sedated, Diego today cannot imagine what is happening outside that Buenos Aires clinic. Hundreds of fans, together with paparazzi, are gathering like in a stadium to bring their support and say thanks to the man they say has got the power of a god.

Hypertensive crisis. Dilated myocardiopathy. Lack of breathing capacity... full of difficult words, that medical report scared a lot of people.

Maybe that is why the "12" (the fans of Boca Juniors) gathered at the hospital to give him a "symbolic hug". And maybe that is why many fans are standing there wrapped in infinite flags, accompanied by small children who probably have never seen him playing.

We also saw some sacred pictures with his face and that image was quickly spread all over the world, with the same power as the news regarding the Iraqi crisis.

The second medical report brought better news to his fans, even though the full recovery is not sure yet..

The heart of Diego is playing a World Cup. And all Argentina is praying for the final victory, like in 1986.