Former Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona has dedicated a message on his Instagram account to the extenista Guillermo Vilas, his “dear Willy”, for whom he asks for respect and a dignified treatment after it has come to light that he suffers from a severe cognitive deterioration.
04/24/2020 at 11:16
“Dear Willi, we owe you so many joys and emotions. I hope that you will ALWAYS receive the respect and dignity that we all deserve, in good times and especially in bad times. Hopefully at this moment we can live up to it. A huge hug, legend “says Maradona, who accompanies his text with a photo in which he appears next to the winner of four Grand Slam tournaments between 1977 and 1979.
The Argentine newspaper ‘Olé’ revealed this week that Vilas, who is 67 years old and resides in Monaco, “is in an important stage of a pathology coinciding with cognitive decline, which has been manifesting him for years and is harassing him today” .
The same source collects testimonies from its environment, which it does not identify, They point out that the former player “has some lucid moments but is not fully aware of what is happening around him, he has even become unaware of friends.”
“He has times when he can’t keep up with the conversation,” they add.
Guillermo Vilas, the best Argentine tennis player in history, won 63 ATP tournaments during his career, including four of the ‘greats’: Roland Garros and the United States Open in 1977 and the Australian Open in 1978 and 1979.
He also won the Masters, the so-called ATP finals, in 1974. He beat Romanian Ilia Nastase in five sets.
Maradona’s request for “respect” captures the sentiment expressed by numerous Argentine fans on social networks, who point out that Vilas’s illness was an open secret that until now had been kept hidden out of consideration for the former player and his family members.