Guillermo Cóppola was the representative of Diego Armando Maradona (from 1985 to 1991 and from 1995 to 2004), but he also knew how to become more than that. He was the man who accompanied the Villa Fiorito star during his splendor as a footballer and who supported him in his darkest days of addiction. He was – or is – one of the people who spent the most time with him Ten , which transforms it into a living biography every time he takes an anecdote or an experience with the best player of all time from the chest of memories.
The story is not unpublished. Although it is not like those that he has in his main repertoire and that in each interview, show or dinner they ask him to repeat without fatigue. However, the tint that its narrator gives it makes it impossible not to attend to it. The mode, added to the exact data that only he can provide, turn a simple fact into a work of art.
Year 1989, Diego was already God in Naples, Argentina and around the world. In their cabinets the Mexico World Cup achieved with the Selection and the first Scudetto with the The Azzurri. Maradona enjoyed a global fame for which he was already a prisoner, just as he was for cocaine. Among its shadows, a supposed relationship with the Neapolitan camorra loomed, led by the Giuliano clan. And in the middle of that context, a fact: the famous robbery Banco della Provincia .
“When they entered Banco Napoles, the manager called me and said ‘Coppola, they have stolen all the boxes.’ I asked him what boxes and he told me that the bank safes had been stolen. I mentioned this to Diego and he didn’t worry, he was calm. After a while he asks me ‘so what did we have?’ I told her that I had one with a watch that the King of Arabia had given me, it was worth 10 or 15 lucas … and there Claudia was worried because she told her that she had everything: medals, cups, the scimitar that the King had given her Fahd ”, RevealedGuillotein dialogue with the channelAmerica.
Here, own Coppola made a clarification. In order to explain where that famous sword gifted by him came from Rey Fahd bin Abdulaziz from Saudi Arabia, the businessman from 72 years went back to 1987, when Maradona and his entire family traveled to the Middle East to play an exhibition match in exchange for $ 500,000 . “That sword had been given to us by the King of Arabia, who when we went to visit him he held a very long ceremony in which he gave us a lot of gifts, including the sword. And there Fahd, who was already old, came with a translator, gave it to us and Diego nailed it to the dirt floor. Fahd asked if he didn’t like the gift, he was worried. And I said yes, that he had loved it and that nailing it to the floor was a symbol of brotherhood “ He explained laughing at his occurrence to get away from the awkward moment.
And he detailed: “I asked Diego why he had done that, if he was crazy. ‘You told me they were going to give me watches, bracelets, jewelry and they give me this fucking sword,’ he tells me. With the handle of the sword I think we bought a Rolls Royce today. Just with the handle, huh ”.
“ Two days later, one of them came to me in training at Napoli and told me that he had a message from Carmine Giuliano, the boss of the Camorra . When we left I told Diego who had come and he told me not to give him a ball. When we arrive for lunch, Claudia tells us that perhaps this has something to do with the robbery. The guy comes in the next day and I ask him if it had to do with the robbery. ‘Yes’, he replied. There we went to the house, Carmine was under house arrest, he lived in the Palace of Versailles. To get there we had to take two different cars and a motorcycle, all at night. It looked like the movie ‘The Godfather’ . We arrived and all our things were on the table, except for the scimitar. That was not stolen. But the gold cup was missing, the one they had given him in Mexico in 1986. We recovered everything except that, that they had melted it into gold and sold it ”, He resumedGuilloteabout what happened with the robbery.
That gold trophy you mention was nothing less than the Golden Ball (not the one in the magazineFrance Football, but the one awarded by FIFA as the best player in the 1986 World Cup), an award he won by leading the Albiceleste from end to end during that tournament in which champion screamed, in addition to accumulating five goals and five assists.
What happened with the cup only became known in 2011, when the minutes of statements of Salvatore Lo Russo , the head of Miano, a neighborhood in the north of Naples, and who was a collaborator of the Italian justice. In one of his many confessions, he assured that he was one of those in charge of helping Maradona and its environment to recover some of the objects that had been stolen in the famous robbery, but that nothing could be done with the prize.
“It was not possible to recover it because they had already melted it . I also sent a sum of 15 million lire to the place, but they returned it to me because the trophy was already gone. I also remember that among the watches they sent me there was one that did not belong to Maradona ”, Expressed according to the story published by the Italian newspaperCorriere della Seraback then. The Argentine star ended up rejecting the watch after confirming that it was not the one that had been stolen .
Far from the reaction one expects from the Ten after having lost his only Ballon d’Or -Although later in 1995 the French magazine was going to grant him theHonorary Golden Ballfor his career-, Coppola he finished: “Diego was resigned, because it was a robbery. Then we stayed with Carmine and did a Lollapalooza, ha. We had house arrest … let the Police come and take us out “ .
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