Diego Maradona celebrates Argentina win with middle finger gesture

Diego Maradona gestures during Argentina's match with Nigeria in St Petersburg. Picture: Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images
Diego Maradona gestures during Argentina's match with Nigeria in St Petersburg. Picture: Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images
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Diego Maradona caught the eye at the World Cup again - this time with a crude celebration of Argentina’s winner against Nigeria.

As television cameras swung his way, seconds after the ball hit the back of Nigeria’s net, Maradona thrust middle-finger gestures with both hands.

The 57-year-old, whose masterful skill drove Argentina to glory at Mexico 86, has been a notable presence at all of his country’s matches at this World Cup, watching from the stands.

And when Marcos Rojo cracked in Argentina’s second goal in a hard-fought 2-1 victory that carried the team through to the last 16, he held nothing back.

Swinging his arms back and forth, he also appeared to shout out before the cameras turned away from the former Barcelona and Napoli player.

Gary Lineker, hosting the programme on BBC One, said of England’s one-time nemesis at full-time: “There’s a danger of him becoming a laughing stock I’m afraid in many ways.

“But Argentina, a marvellous evening for them, got through and did what they had to do.”

BBC sports presenter Dan Walker wrote on Twitter: “And that’s why you don’t show Maradona no matter how good he was in his prime.”

Comedian David Baddiel added: “Maradona offends again with his hands at a World Cup...”

A video published widely in Argentinian media appeared to show Maradona being helped away from his seat after the match.

Maradona looked to be unsteady and was taken to a seat in a hospitality suite. Argentinian newspaper Clarin showed pictures of Maradona being attended to by medical staff.

Another Argentinian newspaper, La Nacion, reported that Maradona was able to walk normally and leave the stadium minutes later.