Diego Maradona embrces Italian ‘baby brother’ in never-before-seen picture

Diego Maradona embraces his Italian “baby brother” and wife Claudia at the height of his fame.

Our exclusive picture shows the soccer legend with Massimo Vignati, part of the local family which took in Maradona when he was playing in Naples.

Massimo and Maradona became inseparable when the star employed his mum Lucia as his housekeeper and cook.

Diego called Lucia “mamma” and Massimo’s entire family worked with or for him, including his late father Saverio, hired at Napoli’s Stadium San Paolo for 35 years.

His sister was the babysitter for Maradona’s kids and his cousin was the star’s cleaner.

Massimo, 46, who runs a Maradona museum at his house in Naples, said: “He moved here when I was 10 and left when I was 17.

“He taught me so many things.

“I didn’t go to school that much.

Massimo Vignati’s house where he set up a Maradona museum

“I preferred to go to his house with my mum.

“My job was to clean his trophies, there were loads of them, it took me all day.

“I played 5–a-side with him every Monday.

Massimo Vignati at the Maradona museum at his home in Naples

“He didn’t like to lose even at 5-a-side.

“He would get stressed.”

Maradona, pictured below with Napoli in 1988, is still regarded as a God in the city after joining from Barcelona for a world-record fee in 1984 and leading the unfashionable club to two league titles, as well as UEFA Cup and domestic Italian Cup wins.

Celebrating for Naples in May 1988

His heroics on the pitch were almost overshadowed by his chaotic life off it, which saw him become close friends with members of the local mafia, The Camorra, and develop an addiction to cocaine and hookers.

He was eventually divorced from long-suffering wife Claudia – who had two daughters with him – in 2004 after 20 years of marriage.

But Massimo says Maradona was a good man who told him not to make the same mistakes as him.

He said: “He had his problems, but they were personal problems.

“He only hurt himself, never anyone else.”

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