Diego Maradona faces the final battle

Agence France Presse

Buenos Aires, May 11:

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona faces the final battle to vanquish his demons and save himself from a life-threatening drug addiction, his personal doctor Alfredo Cahe claimed.

Maradona, 43, has checked into the Park Private Clininc drug rehabilitation centre in western Buenos Aires, which Cahe admitted was likely “the last chance” for the 1986 WC winning captain. “I hope that it will have the necessary effect,” said Cahe. “Until now that hasn’t happened. I hope that he’ll finally wake up and take responsibility.” Cahe said that Maradona had been checked in against his will, with the former footballer preferring to return to the luxurious residence in the town of General Rodriguez or Cuba, where he has lived for most of the past four years.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro even put an airplane at Maradona’s disposal should he want to return to the island. Since Saturday, Maradona’s family had been trying to find a clinic that would accept the player. Several had refused to take him, fearing he would resist treatment and the media circus would deny privacy to other patients. The Park clinic is far from the luxury Maradona is used to, although he will have his own room and will not mix with the other patients. But the biggest problem will be getting the former footballer to follow his treatment.

The 106-kg former player has been fighting cocaine addiction for years and a many doctors believe that is the cause of his health problems which saw him come close to death last month.Only Maradona’s former wife, Claudia Villafane, his daughters and parents are allowed to visit.