A teenager who claims he is Diego Maradona’s lovechild has demanded the football great’s body be drug up for DNA tests to prove his case.
Santiago Lara, 19, instructed his lawyer to make the appeal less than 24 hours after the Naples and Barcelona star was buried.
Jose Nunez lodged a written request with a family court in Santiago’s home city of La Plata, an hour’s drive south of Buenos Aires, demanding Maradona’s autopsy, DNA results and the exhumation of his body so it can be transferred to a court morgue.
Santiago, the supposed sixth child of a growing group of offspring, which Diego’s daughter previously joked he could make up a starting eleven, spoke of the claims for the first time four years ago.
The teenager’s mother, waitress Natalia Garat, died aged 23 from lung cancer in 2006 following an alleged seven year on-off relationship with Diego, who officially has five children including two he took years to recognise as his.
Natalia’s ex-boyfriend, Marcelo Lara, raised Santiago as his own son.
The teenager instructed his lawyer to start legal action to prove he was Maradona’s son while the retired footballer was alive after failed attempts to reach an amicable settlement with the star’s legal team.
Speaking overnight after Mr Nunez confirmed the sensational exhumation demand, Santiago told Telemundo programme Suelta la Sopa: ‘My mum sadly died when I was just three years old but days before her death, when she had to remove her ventilator to speak, she told a group of lawyers I was Diego’s son.
‘I just want to know who I am. The financial side of things is not something that matters to me.
‘I know this demand is going to cause major turmoil in Argentina but if I don’t do this, who is going to give me the DNA?’
His lawyer, in another interview on an Argentinian TV show which he attended with a colleague but not Santiago, added: ‘We’re talking about a young lad who has been left in the dark about who he really is.