Maradona visits Fidel Castro in Havana

Havana, Apr 15 (EFE).- Former President Fidel Castro was visited in Havana by retired Argentine soccer star Diego Armando Maradona, Cuba's state-run media said Monday.

Castro and Maradona had a "brotherly meeting" Saturday afternoon and their conversation was a "fruitful exchange between two old friends," the Cuban press said, illustrating the story with a photo of their get-together.

In his first visit to Cuba in 1987, the soccer icon began a lasting relationship with the Cuban leader, and had recently expressed a wish to visit him again.

Maradona went to the island on several occasions, including an extended stay in 2000 to undergo treatment for drug addiction.

On other trips he also met with the Cuban leader, to whom he gave some jerseys that he wore with his first club, Newell's Old Boys, and with the Argentine national team.

In 2005 Maradona interviewed Fidel Castro for his primetime talk show on Argentine television.

Aside from being a personal friend of Castro, Maradona is a big admirer of the Cuban Revolution and is tattooed with the faces of Fidel and Che Guevara.

In recent weeks, Fidel Castro, 86, has reappeared in public and, besides the meeting with Maradona, inaugurated a school last Tuesday which was a project of his own, and for two hours chatted with students, teachers and builders of the construction.

Fidel stepped down in July 2006 after being stricken with a serious illness. Younger brother Raul Castro formally succeeded him as president in February 2008.