Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona was among some of the dignitaries FIFA brought to Russia to greet the winners of the Confederations Cup. While speaking to the media in St. Petersburg, things got political as Maradona was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump.

When it comes to Putin, Maradona had nothing but great things to say.

“I think that after [Hugo] Chavez and Fidel [Castro], Putin – together with [Ariel] Ortega and Evo [Morales], represent the ‘top league” of political leaders, said Maradona, who arrived in Moscow on Friday.

“Putin is a man who can bring peace to many in this world,” he added, describing the Russian leader as “a phenomenon; simply a phenomenon.”

Not to say that Maradona doesn’t actually believe this, but considering he was in Russia, speaking to Russian State news and was a guest of FIFA for a tournament Putin himself wanted to have and go without a hitch, Maradona could hate Putin and at least knows enough not to saying something bad about him at that time.

When it came to discussing Trump, Maradona wasn’t as…let’s say diplomatic in his view of the U.S. President.

The legendary Argentinean said he didn’t see US President Donald Trump among the elite, saying, “For me, he’s more of a comic.”

“He’s like a cartoon to me, if we talk about politics… Every time I see him on TV, I switch the channel,” he added.

Maradona even went so far as to say that Trump and his presidential style could lead to war and could be bad for the other countries in the Americas.

Maradona stressed that no one wants war, but “when you see such cartoon characters like Trump, you begin thinking that if such a man takes it into his head we may all become enemies.”

Latin America is feeling “increasing pressure from the right. By right, I mean the US,” which is bad for the continent, he said.

“The right is stronger now. The right has more money. They can buy a lot of things. And I’m outraged because of it – as under previous presidents, the people at least had food, but now in Argentina there are people who are starving. It’s sad. Very sad. And it’s not only Argentina. Brazil, as well,” he said.

No one is going to mistake Diego Maradona as a political scientist, but regardless of whether I agree with him or not, it’s interesting to get a perspective from someone who isn’t from either Russia or the United States and see how Russia and the United States being led affects those who aren’t from either country.

It would probably be better to get the opinion from someone who hasn’t been palling around with Vladimir Putin for the past couple weeks but he was asked his opinion and gave it. And that’s what came out of Maradona’s mouth. I’m just not quite sure Maradona’s criteria for who’s great and who’s not based on what he said.


About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and I occasionally write for Awful Announcing and Freezing Cold Takes. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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