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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 05:15 GMT 06:15 UK
Maradona returns to rehab in Cuba
Diego Maradona (left) arrives t Cuba
Maradona has been fighting to pursue treatment abroad
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has arrived in Cuba to receive ongoing treatment for drug addiction.

The 43-year-old former star, who has admitted to a long history of cocaine abuse, made no comment after landing at Havana's airport.

In May, he was rushed to hospital in Buenos Aires with breathing problems.

He was later transferred for psychiatric care at the request of relatives, who went to court to stop him leaving Argentina.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Maradona could return to Cuba, where he had previously been treated for drug addiction.

Privacy

The departure of flight CM448 was covered live by Argentine television, ending a dramatic chapter in the life of this troubled footballing legend, the BBC's Steve Kingstone reports.

Two sisters and his personal surgeon are travelling with him.

In Havana, he will stay at the government-run International Centre for Medical Surgery.

Before leaving Argentina, Maradona told an interviewer his heart was directing him back to Cuba.

But above all, Havana will offer privacy from the media, our correspondent says.

To most Argentines, he remains the greatest player of all time and hundreds of fans staged vigils during his stay in hospital.

Nonetheless, the past few weeks have become something of a soap opera and many will be glad the saga is over, our correspondent adds.


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