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Fidel Castro was like my second father: Maradona

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Buenos Aires, Nov 27 (IANS) Argentinean football star, Diego Maradona, on Saturday mourned the death of Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, saying he "was like a second father".

Castro passed away on Friday at the age of 90, with the Cuban government declaring nine days of national mourning, Xinhua news agency reported.

Maradona spoke to the press in Zagreb, Croatia, where he has travelled to watch the Davis Cup Final between Argentina and Croatia.

According to Maradona, after his parents, the death of Castro gave him the greatest pain. "He advised me, spoke to me about drugs, about what he could. He was like my second father. I lived for four years in Cuba. He opened doors for me when clinics in Argentina closed them, because nobody wanted (to deal with) the death of Maradona," he said.

"I want to thank him for everything," added a visibly moved Maradona, who has a tattoo of Fidel Castro on his leg.

Castro's ashes will be interred on December 4 in the cemetery of Santa Ifigenia in Santiago de Cuba, alongside other Cuban heroes, such as Jose Marti, after nine days of mourning.

--IANS

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