Diego Maradona has refused to recognize that he has been sacked as manager of UAE club Al-Wasl, believing instead that the news is just a hoax perpetrated by long-time adversary Pele. Al-Wasl released an official statement to announce the termination of Maradona's two-year contract after just one disappointing season, but the Argentine legend was on holiday in Dubai when he received the news that he promptly wrote off as a prank call from the 71-year-old Brazilian great.
"This is so Pele," Maradona told reporters in Dubai. "As soon as I got the call, I knew he was trying to fool me. Who gets sacked for finishing eighth? This was just his attempt at payback for the time Fidel Castro and I sent 30 pizzas to his house that he had to pay for. But it's not going to work. The Bono of football is way too smart to fall for this."
Maradona and Pele have long maintained a public feud, with the two most recently arguing about whether Lionel Messi or Neymar is the better footballer. Maradona has accused Pele of mixing up his pills, while Pele has claimed that Maradona only took the job as coach of Argentina's national team for money. After reaching the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup, Maradona's contract was not renewed amidst a dispute with the Argentine football federation.
Maradona had previously threatened to quit his position at Al-Wasl if he wasn't supported financially in the transfer window.
"Pele should stop trying to beat me," Maradona concluded. "For years he's been trying to convince me of a thing called 'taxes' and sending me false documents claiming I owe the Italian government €30 million for not paying them, but his games won't work. I won't walk into his traps."
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