A long list of properties, lucrative image rights deals, and an amphibious vehicle from Belarus.
They are just some of the luxuries of the Diego Maradona fortune.
The Argentine soccer icon died at the age of 60 last week, leaving behind a complicated financial legacy due to his sometimes troubled personal life.
Since the death of the Pelusa rampant speculation has formed about his wealth and the heirs entitled to access a part of it.
Maradona had a large family since he was the father of at least eight children during his relationships with six different women.
His inheritance is expected to be divided into equal parts among them.
But without official information on a will, Argentine legal experts and journalists say that the definition of inheritance will not be easy.
A long legal battle is expected, plagued by family disputes, DNA tests and paternity claims, while different lawyers will try to calculate the true value of the fortune that Maradona left behind.
“I predict that the inheritance process will be a disaster,” Elias Kier Joffe, a Buenos Aires-based lawyer, told the BBC.
“I suspect it will take some time work it out“, it indicates.
Who are Maradona’s children?
Appearances of offspring were a common theme in Maradona’s intense life.
One of his daughters once joked that the former offensive midfielder could almost form an eleven-player starting cast for a soccer team with his sons.
For years, Maradona denied other heirs besides Gianinna, 31, and Dalma, 33, both daughters he had with his ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, whom he divorced in 2003 after nearly 20 years of marriage.
Finally, the winner of the 1986 Mexico World Cup recognized six more children.
Maradona recognized Diego Junior, 34, and Jana, 24, in the mid-2010s after court battles with their mothers.
There was no such paternity dispute for the birth in 2013 of his second son, Diego Fernando, who is seven years old and whose mother is Verónica Ojeda, then a partner of the ex-footballer and who maintained a friendship with him after that.
Then there was a surprising event in 2019, when Maradona’s lawyer reported that the footballer had accepted the paternity of three children born in Cuba, where he spent four years since 2000 in treatment for his problem with cocaine.
In Cuban territory there is still a trial open for a possible fourth child.
And there are still at least two more, Argentines Santiago Lara, 19, and Magalí Gil, 23, who believe that Maradona is their father.
Both announced legal actions to clarify this possibility that would allow them to claim a part of the inheritance ofl 10.
In fact, Lara’s lawyer has already asked a court to exhume the footballer’s body to collect a sample for a DNA test.
Even so, even if Lara and Magalí Gil established a paternal bond, it is not clear how much they can receive as heirs.
What is the estimated value of Maradona’s wealth?
There is no precise estimate of Maradona’s wealth, but some local Argentine media reports used two estimates.
The first is an attempt to measure the full value of Maradona’s assets, from his vehicles to his jewelry.
That can represent a net worth between US $ 75 million and US $ 100 million, according to various newscasts in the South American country.
The origin of the data was indicated in an article written by Julio Chiappetta, an Argentine sports journalist close to Maradona.
The second measurement starts from the calculation of Maradona’s net assets.
Diego had an estimated net worth of $ 500,000 at the time of his death, according to Celebrity Net Worth, a website that reports on the wealth of famous characters.
The portal maintains that its estimates are based on “financial analysis, market research and internal sources.”
Some of the assets Maradona is reported to have owned include:
- At least five properties in Argentina but, as Buenos Aires lawyer Joffe said, “no mansion in Beverly Hills.”
- A Rolls Royce Ghost with an approximate value of $ 360,000 and a BMW i8 with an approximate value of $ 175,000.
- A Hunter Overcomer amphibious vehicle is also known to have been gifted to him during a trip to Belarus.
- A diamond ring valued at $ 360,000
- A contract that allows the technology firm Konami to use the image of Maradona in its famous Pro Evolution Soccer video game.
Celebrity Net Worth indicates that Maradona earned “tens of millions of dollars in salaries and endorsements” during his career as a player and manager.
A significant part of this wealth came from his contract with the Italian soccer club Napoli, where, according to a 1990 report by The New York Times, he earned a salary of $ 3 million along with endorsements of between $ 8 million to $ 10 million. .
It can be said that Italy raised and collapsed Maradona, yielding with one hand and trying to take it away with the other.
In 2005, the Italian government said that Diego owed around US$48,6 millones for unpaid taxes dating back to his days in Naples (1984-1992).
To this day, the vast majority of that attributed debt remains unpaid.
Maradona rejected the charge, but that did not mean that the invoice is a significant liability.
This was included in the estimate by Celebrity Net Worth, hence the seemingly low figure of $ 500,000.
Argentine journalist Luis Ventura said Maradona’s well-known spending habits hadn’t done his bank account any favors either.
The presenter, who appeared this week on the well-known television program “Fantino in the afternoon”, was asked if Maradona had “died poor“.
“Definitely poor,” Ventura said.
“He liked to spend and when someone asked him for money, he gave it to them,” he said.
How will the inheritance be divided?
Throughout his life, Maradona had some very public disputes with ex-partners and even with his children.
And it was usual that many of those involved expressed their complaints on social networks or Argentine television.
In November 2019, for example, Maradona brought up his eventual inheritance after his daughter Gianinna expressed concern about her health on social media.
“I tell everyone that I will not leave nothingI’m going to donate it, “Maradona said in a video uploaded to YouTube.
However, according to Argentine law, a person can only assign a third of their assets in a will, and the rest is transferred directly to their children or spouse.
Since Maradona does not appear to have left a will and had no recognized partner at the time of his death, the children should, in theory, receive an equal share of the entire inheritance.
“The culture of Argentina is not to write a will. Most people do not do it,” explains Joffe.
The BBC contacted Maradona’s last lawyer, Matías Morla, to ask him about the will and other succession issues, but no response was produced.
Without an probate document, things get a bit technical.
Maradona’s heirs, recognized or not, can file a claim for a portion of his wealth in court up to nine days after his death on November 25.
Argentine media reports indicate that Jana, the renowned Maradona’s third daughter, was the first to do so on Thursday.
Then, a judge will decide “what belongs to each one” by issuing what is known as the declaration of heirs, explained to the BBC Sebastian Limeres, a lawyer who specializes in inheritance.
This could take months.
Meanwhile, “we cannot predict whether the heirs will get along,” said the lawyer.
After all, you cannot choose your family. That is something, some will say, that is decided by the hand of God.
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Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.