Italian taxman serves Maradona with 39-million-euro bill
Argentina legend signs document18 October, 13:42
Contrary to previous statements from Maradona's lawyer, the agency says the footballer owes them money for unpaid taxes on off-the-books earnings in sponsorship and merchandising deals from his time at Napoli.
The agency said that Maradona's lawyer had misinterpreted a ruling that pardons soccer club Napoli, but not its players.
Maradona has come to Italy to watch Friday night's Serie A top-of-the-table clash between AS Roma and his former club, which has a two-point lead over the Romans. One of Maradona's lawyers, Angelo Pisani, said earlier this year that a court had ruled that tax checks run on the time Maradona played for the Italian club between 1984 and 1991 were invalid and therefore he could now "return to Italy a free man".
Maradona is revered in Naples for helping the city's soccer team to win two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup.
The former player had a diamond-studded earring and a Rolex watch seized, among other assets, on past visits to Italy.
Maradona said last year that he felt persecuted by the Italian tax authorities. "Every time I return I have a horrible feeling. I'm angry with the Italian tax authorities, who make me feel like a thief, a fraudster," he said.
"I've never stolen anything from Italy or the Italian people. I just gave joy and fun on the field".
Maradona said the tax debt was not down to him but to Napoli club officials who "did things on the sly".
During his time with Napoli Maradona also helped Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous 'Hand of God' goal and the most highly voted 'best goal ever' against England along the way.