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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Maradona tackles Pele on TV show
Diego Maradona (left) talks to Pele

Argentine football hero Diego Maradona has traded headers and talked about drugs with Brazilian legend Pele as he begins life as a TV presenter.

Pele, regarded as the greatest player of all time, joined a host of stars on Maradona's new two-hour TV show.

Maradona, a recovering cocaine addict, talked about drugs with Pele, whose son has been jailed for drugs offences.

Maradona looked slim and healthy after an operation to staple his stomach, aimed at cutting his ballooning weight.

Fellow Argentine footballer Gabriel Batistuta, the country's leading international goal scorer, and tennis star Gabriela Sabatini joined Pele for Maradona's first programme.

My mother says I was the better player, and Pele's mother says it was him
Diego Maradona
He co-hosted with Sergio Goycochea, the goalkeeper in Maradona's 1990 World Cup side, which lost to West Germany in the final.

The show is called La Noche del Diez - The Night of the Number Ten - in reference to the number 10 shirt Maradona wore for the national side.

Maradona and Pele, who have rarely seen eye-to-eye, swapped national shirts and headed a football to each other as Maradona's new career began with goodwill wishes from his guests.

Both took to the stage: Pele playing guitar and singing a song he composed himself and Maradona singing an Argentine tango about football.

Mother's pride

Pele praised Maradona for offering an example of how to beat addiction, calling him an inspiration for his jailed son.

Maradona (l) heads a ball with Pele
Both players showed their skills by easily heading a ball
"You are an example for him because you are a conqueror," he said.

"Your programme is going out to the world, and I think together we can do many things in the world to help a lot of people."

Maradona looked emotional as he thanked his family and friends for helping him rebuild his life after a series of health scares.

Once hailed as the greatest player of his generation, Maradona captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, but saw his career undermined by cocaine addiction during his days playing for Napoli in Italy.

Pele also played in the fabled number 10 shirt.

At a news conference after the show, Maradona neatly side-stepped the question of who was the better footballer.

"My mother says it was me and Pele's mother says it was him," the Argentine said.



SEE ALSO:
Maradona 'agrees to movie biopic'
09 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Maradona has surgery on stomach
06 Mar 05 |  Football
Maradona's fall from grace
19 Apr 04 |  Football
Diego Maradona timeline
19 Apr 04 |  Football
Pele's son arrested in drugs raid
06 Jun 05 |  Americas
Pele's son convicted of murder
22 Oct 99 |  Americas


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