No more letters from Cuba
The link between Fidel Castro and football has a name: Diego Maradona.
The Argentine legend went to Cuba for the first time in 1987 and since then a friendship between him and the leader of the Cuban revolution blossomed.
The former Cuban president and leader of the country's revolution passed away at the age of 90 yesterday, with Castro's brother Raul announcing the news in a brief speech on state television in Cuba.
Castro remained closely involved in politics until 2011 when his declining health resulted in him being forced to pass control to his brother.
Throughout his life, he always maintained that he was a huge fan of sport, particularly baseball, but he often boasted of his friendship with one of the greatest sportsmen ever: Maradona.
The Argentine superstar first visited the Caribbean country in 1987 and since then established a close relationship with the Cuban leader. In fact, on his visits to the island, Maradona gave Castro several football jerseys, including the one he wore on his Newell's Old Boys debut and an autographed Argentina No.10 shirt.
The Argentinian was a reasonably frequent visitor to the island and when he was going through a very tough time in 2000 owing to his drug habits, Castro opened the doors to Cuba for his friend and asked him to seek treatment there, where Maradona spent time at the famous La Perdera clinic.
Maradona had even interviewed the leader in 2005, on his TV show La Noche del 10.
Aside from being Castro's close friend, Maradona has also openly showed his support for the Cuban revolution by getting a tattoo of Castro on his leg and one of Che Guevara on his arm.
In 2015, Castro himself also made public some of the letters he had exchanged with the former Barcelona player, with the two men sharing their opinions on politics and sport. Famously, Castro wrote a letter to Maradona in 2015, disputing rumours that he had died. Nobody had heard from the leader for three months prior to that letter.
Castro had even called Maradona "Che of the sport," while also toying with the idea of building a statue in Maradona's honor in Cuba.
"Fidel if there is one important thing I have learned from you throughout the years of our sincere and beautiful friendship, it is that loyalty is priceless," Maradona said in one letter, dated January 15.