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Diego Maradona’s tormented private life, with its tangled relationships and paternity suits, suggests distributing his inheritance will be a complex task for lawyers bracing for claims from a slew of children – those he recognised and those he didn’t.

“There’s going to be a big fight. He didn’t leave a will,” according to a source close to the family who declined to be named.

Maradona made and wasted millions over his years at the pinnacle of his fame with Barcelona, Napoli and Argentina, and he also made some shrewd investments. Some reports circulating since his death estimate his estate at around US$90 million.

Angered over a dispute with his daughter Giannina last year, he threatened to donate all his wealth, including properties, luxury cars and sponsorship contracts, to charity.

“I know that now, as you get older, people are more concerned about what you leave behind than what you are doing,” he was quoted as saying at the time.

“And I tell them all that I’m not going to leave them anything, that I’m going to give it all away. Everything I’ve got in my life I’m going to give away,” he said.

Under Argentine law, however, a person can only give away a fifth of their assets. At least two-thirds must be left to the spouse or offspring of the deceased.

Giannina, 31, had sparked the row by accusing the former star’s entourage of not taking proper care of him, which seems to have been a recurring theme of their relationship.

Father and daughter had reconciled by his 60th birthday in October, Giannina lauding him in a series of affectionate messages posted on social media with her sister Dalma.

“He is my great example of all the things to do and all the things not to do. I have admired him, yesterday, today and always. He taught me to forgive, to forgive myself,” Gianinna wrote.

Complex ties

Claudia Villafane was Maradona’s childhood sweetheart since the age of 15. His only wife, they divorced in 2003.

Their two daughters, Dalma, 33 and Giannina – were the only children he recognized for many years.


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