DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A week after kicking a fan, Diego Maradona showed his more humane side Thursday by offering condolences to the family of deceased football player Theyab Awana.
Maradona, who coaches United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl, visited the family of Awana, who was killed Sunday in a car crash. Awana played for Bani Yas.
''Football is about more than just goals and numbers, it's about passion and compassion,'' Maradona said, according to a statement.
Maradona met Awana's father and family and joined them in prayer. He also ''promised to give Awana's family all the support that they would need,'' according to the statement.
Awana became an Internet sensation earlier this year when he scored a backheeled penalty. But on Sunday, the 21-year-old Awana's car collided with a truck while on the way back to Abu Dhabi after attending a national team training session in Al Ain.
A few days before the crash, Maradona put himself back into the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The former Argentina captain kicked a fan's hand after a match because it was intruding on a photo he was trying to take with a banner of support from his grandson.
He apologized the next day.