Caracas: Argentina football legend Diego Armando Maradona said he's a "soldier" of Venezuela after a short meeting with President Nicolas Maduro.
Minutes before departing from the capital's airport Wednesday, Maradona said to the press he has become a "soldier" of the socialist Venezuelan government after his close friendship with late president, Hugo Chavez, and now with Maduro, reports Xinhua.
"Always keep loving Chavez, the great are never forgotten," he said.
Maradona said he supports Maduro in his struggle to provide a brighter future for Venezuelans and eliminate "unfair politics" inherited from the past.
"Nicolas is doing great and having a superb presidency that gives me strength. He follows Chavez's legacy and he can always count on me," he said.
According to the controversial sports star, his visit to Venezuela was to thank the head of state for his support to the talk show he hosted in the Caracas-based international network, TeleSUR, during the Brazil FIFA World Cup.
The programme called "De Zurda" (Shoot from the left) was aired during the month-long football extravaganza with Maradona and Uruguayan journalist, Victor Morales.
"We must help Nicolas because many forces insist on putting stones in his path to see him fall but we have to be strong. I am one more soldier of this nation," he said.
Maduro expressed his satisfaction at meeting Maradona, who also participated Tuesday in a government event to commemorate the 190th anniversary of the Ayacucho Battle, an independence fight led by local hero, Simon Bolivar, which gave total freedom to Peru.
"Maradona is a passionate man of our Latin American history that accompanies our peoples in their struggles for justice," said the Venezuelan president.