Rome, Sep 19 (ANI): Beleaguered football legend Diego Maradona had to hand over his diamond studs to police as part payment for the millions he owes the Italian tax authorities.
Italian officials paid the holidaying Argentinean coach a visit at the luxury hotel he was staying in and seized the earrings worth nearly 4,000 pounds, Sky News reports.
Police claimed that Maradona still owes some 20 million pounds, dating back to his seven-year stint at the Italian club Napoli, where he frequently failed to pay income tax.
After fleeing Buenos Aires on Monday following Argentina's four defeats in five matches of 2010 World Cup qualifier, Maradona, 48, is currently staying at a spa in the town of Merano in north-eastern Italy, where he is trying to lose weight.
Italian authorities had seized two of his Rolex watches worth 11,000 pounds in 2006, when he was staying near Naples.
In 2005, they seized the money he was to receive for taking part in a TV dancing show.
Four years earlier, he was met by 20 police officers as he got off a plane in Rome.
Italy's Supreme Court ordered the ex-footballer to pay 36 million euros in unpaid taxes.
According to the association of Italian taxpayers, Maradona still has 22.4 million euros to pay.
Recently, Brazilian legend Pele took a blow at Maradona, saying he feels another Argentine-born player, Alfredo di Stefano, is the best player ever.
"Maradona was a great player, but he could not kick with his right foot and did not score goals with his head.
The only time he scored an important goal with his head, it turned out he had used his hand," Pele said referring to Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 World Cup. (ANI)