Soccer legend Maradona opens up about past substance abuse issues

Dorados head coach Diego Maradona (Getty Images)

Soccer legend Diego Maradona discussed his past off-field issues Monday during his introduction as head coach of Dorados, a Mexican soccer club.

The Argentine great and 1986 World Cup winner has had some highly publicized struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

Talking about his problems with substance abuse, the 57-year-old said: “I want to give Dorados what I lost when I was sick.

“Today I want to see the sun and I want to go to sleep at night. Before, I didn’t go to sleep and I didn’t even know what a pillow was. That’s why I accepted the offer from Dorados. I’m taking on this responsibility as if it were a new child.

“Ever since I kicked my illness 15 years ago, [when] I was wasting away. I want to explain to you that when I was using I was falling apart. It was a step backwards and a footballer always has to go forward. That all stopped thanks to my daughters.

“I was left without a cent, I went back to work, my youngest daughter, who was 4, convinced me, she said I had experienced things with Dalma and not with her. When I was in a coma and she touched my bedsheet to wake me up. 

“Then I came out, and like everybody we are judged and we think we hold the truth, I wonder how many people there are here who have done worse things than us and they have not made the papers. I am here to work.”