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Golf is soccer star Maradonas new passion


HAVANA -- Diego Maradona has found a new sports passion: golf.
``I admit that I don't feel the same emotions on the golf course as I did kicking the ball around,'' the former soccer great said. ``But I play absolutely every day, training like an animal. Sometimes when I am sleeping I wake up because I am dreaming that I made a wrong move and I stand up and repeat it in my room.''
Maradona said it has been difficult to learn to lower his voice.
``Sometimes I talk loudly, I yell, I get excited and everyone gives me dirty looks,'' he said. ``It bothers me a bit but I still find golf an exceptional sport.''
The former Argentine captain doesn't like to talk about the 2002 World Cup. Argentina was ousted in the first round.
``They should get it through their heads that if they aren't going to get their shirts sweaty they shouldn't be playing,'' he said.
The 42-year-old Maradona has been living in Cuba since 2000, when he arrived for drug rehabilitation and heart treatments.
He plays regularly in a monthly golf tournament at a public club in Havana. He was joined in a tournament on Sunday by Cuban high-jumping champion Javier Sotomayor.
``I hope Maradona teaches me how to play golf,'' said Sotomayor, a spectator. ``I care about him not only for his qualities as a soccer player, but for his qualities as a human being.''