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Maradona 'Deeply Hurt' By Traitor Tag
AP, March 20th, 2009 3:15PM

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The recent rift between Argentina coach Diego Maradona and veteran midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme has not surprisingly drawn strong reactions from fans of Boca Juniors, the team where both national treasures gained fame early in their respective playing careers. But that reaction has not been what one might expect, with fans displaying support for Riquelme while calling out the previously untouchable Maradona a "traitor."

One of "thousands" of anti-Maradona posters at a recent Juniors match read: "Riquelme, Boca idol. Maradona, national team idol and traitor," causing Maradona to confess that "It hurts me deeply" but also saying "I don't blame them" and "people have the right to chose whichever side they want.''

As the AP reports, the feud between the two began "when Maradona repeatedly and publicly criticized Riquelme's form, saying he was 'of no use" to the national team if he continued to perform poorly." Riquelme, who just helped Juniors to a 3-1 win over Guarani in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday, subsequently resigned from the national team on March 10.

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