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Barcelona great Stoichkov 'feels guilty' not doing more for Maradona

Barcelona great Hristo Stoichkov has admitted regret letting his friendship with Diego Maradona wane.

Maradona passed away on Novembr 25, 2020, at the age of 60.

Stoichkov has revealed that he was in regular contact with the Argentina legend until 2016. From that point on, he tried but couldn't reach him on phone.

"I had all his numbers, and the last time I spoke to him was on February 2 or 3, 2016," Stoichkov told Equipo F.

"On February 8 he called me to wish me happy birthday and since then we could never speak again because he was always asleep, resting, playing, walking.

"That was the last time I heard Diego's voice. I don't think I was allowed to talk to Maradona.

"When you are closed in one place and there is no opportunity to talk? Where do you go?

"I feel guilty for not separating him from the vultures. I always say that they are vultures.

"I feel guilty for not insisting so much myself, because of the friendship we had.

"Sometimes I sit at home and think 'Couldn't you have done something?'

"I feel a bit guilty. It made me angry to see him surrounded by those people in suits and ties.

"I have seen him suffer so much, may he rest in peace. Maradona never distanced himself from his friends."

Even though they both played for Barcelona, they didn't coincide at the Camp Nou.

"I met Maradona in the 1990s and we never got angry with each other," Stoichkov said, reflecting on the start of their friendship.

"And I could speak very harshly to him.

"Sometimes I would make a mistake and Diego would talk to me too, because Diego knows that footballers have to speak clearly."

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