A portfolio of properties, lucrative image rights and an amphibious tank from Belarus.
These were just some of the reported pitfalls of Diego Maradona’s fortune.
The Argentine football icon died at 60 last week, leaving a complicated financial legacy that repeats his sometimes troubled personal life.
Since Maradona’s death, there has been fierce speculation about his wealth and the heirs entitled to a share of it.
Maradona had a large family that became the father of at least eight children through decades of romantic wrap-ups with six different women. His legacy is expected to be shared equally between these children.
But without reports of wills, Argentine legal experts and journalists say the legacy is far from straightforward.
They expect a lengthy court battle filled with family disputes, DNA tests and opportunistic allegations of paternity as lawyers struggle to calculate the true value of Maradona’s property.
“I predict the inheritance process will be a mess,” Elias Kier Joffe, a lawyer based in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, told the BBC. “I suppose it will take some time to fix.”
So who are Maradona’s children?
Revelation of fatherhood was a common theme in Maradona’s colorful life.
One of his daughters once joked that the former attacking midfielder could almost make up a football team’s full start 11 with his ever-growing bread.
For years, Maradona refused to have any children besides Gianinna, 31, and Dalma, 33, both daughters he had with ex-wife Claudia Villafañe, whom he divorced in 2003 after nearly 20 years of marriage.
In the end, the World Cup winner recognized six more children.
Maradona recognized Diego Junior, 34, and Jana, 24, as his flesh and blood in the mid-2010s after court battles with their mothers with whom he had had affairs.
There was no such paternity conflict over the 2013 birth of his second son, seven-year-old Diego Fernando.
Then came a surprising development in 2019, then Maradona’s lawyer said he had agreed to accept the paternity of three children born in Cuba, where he spent several years from 2000 treating a cocaine habit.
It brings us updated.
Now there are still at least two more – Argentines Santiago Lara, 19, and Magalí Gil, 23 – who believe Maradona is their father. Both say they are taking legal action to establish this, which they will have to do to claim part of Maradona’s legacy.
In fact, Mr Lara’s lawyer has already asked a court to excavate the football player’s body to collect a sample for a DNA test. Although Mr Lara and Mrs Gil established a paternal relationship, it is still not clear how much they would inherit.
What is the estimated value of Maradona’s wealth?
There is no comprehensive account of Maradona’s wealth, but in some speculative reports, the media has used two measurements.
The first estimates the total value of all Maradona’s assets from his sports cars to his jewelry.
An inheritance worth between $ 75m (£ 55m) and $ 100m is an estimate that has been widely quoted by Argentine media. This was referred without attribution to a source in an article written by Julio Chiappetta, an Argentine sports journalist who was close to Maradona.
The second measurement is Maradona’s net worth, which is simply the sum of what a person owns (their assets) minus what they owe (their liabilities).
Maradona had an estimated net worth of $ 500,000 at the time of his death, according to Celebrity Net Worth, a website that reports on the wealth of famous people. The website says its net worth estimates are based on “financial analysis, market research and internal sources”.
Some of the assets Maradona is reported to have owned include:
At least five properties in Argentina, but as Mr Joffe said, “no Beverly Hills mansion”
A Rolls Royce Ghost worth $ 360,000 and a BMW i8 worth $ 175,000
An amphibious vehicle from a hunter-gatherer gifted to him during a trip to Belarus
A diamond ring worth $ 360,000
A contract that allows Komani to use Maradona’s similarity in his Pro Evolution Soccer video game
Celebrity Net Worth says Maradona earned “tens of thousands of dollars in salaries and endorsements” during his career as a player and manager.
Much of this wealth came from his contract with the Italian football club Napoli, where, according to a 1990 New York Times report, he withdrew $ 3m in salary plus an additional $ 8m to $ 10m in endorsements.
Italy both made and broke Maradona by giving with one hand and trying to take away with the other. IN 2005 the Italian government said Maradona owed 37.2 million. euros (£ 32 million; $ 48.6 million) in unpaid taxes dates back to his Naples days.
To this day, the vast majority of debt remains unpaid.
Maradona refused to pay it, and if he had lived longer, it may have continued to do so. Nevertheless, the tax bill was still a large liability. This was included in the estimate by Celebrity Net Worth, hence the seemingly low $ 500,000 figure.
A friend, Argentine journalist Luis Ventura, said Maradona’s well-documented spending habits had not favored his bank balance either. Ventura appeared on the Fantino a la tarde television program and was asked if Maradona was “dead poor”.
“Absolutely poor,” Ventura said. “He liked to spend, and when someone asked him for money, he gave it to them.”
How is his inheritance divided?
Over the course of her life, Maradona had some very public disputes with ex-partners and his children, with all sides airing their complaints on social media or Argentine television.
Maradona’s health and wealth were often the two sources of controversy. In November 2019, for example, Maradona referred to his legacy after his daughter Gianinna expressed concern about his health on social media.
“I tell you all I will not leave anything, I will donate it,” Maradona said in a video posted to YouTube.
Under Argentine law, however, a person can only give away one-third of their assets in a will, while the rest is transferred to their children or spouse.
Since Maradona does not appear to have left a will and had no spouse at the time of death, his children should, in theory, receive an equal share of the entire property.
“Argentina’s culture is not to draw up a will. Most people do not,” Joffe said.
The BBC contacted Maradona’s lawyer, Matías Morla, to inquire about the will and other inheritance issues, but at the time of publication there had been no response.
Without a will, things get a little technical.
Maradona’s apparent heirs – recognized or not – can file a claim for part of his inheritance in court nine days after his death on 25 November. Argentine media reports that Jana, Maradona’s third daughter, was the first to do so on Thursday.
A judge will then decide “who takes what” before issuing what is known as the declaration from heirs, told the BBC, a lawyer who specializes in inheritance. This can take months.
Meanwhile, “we can not predict whether the heirs will get along well,” Limeres said.
After all, you can not choose your family. Some might say that it is decided by the hand of God.