Maradona among World Cup winners taking part in draw show

Berlin: Argentina football great Diego Maradona is among a host of former World Cup winners lined up for the World Cup draw in Moscow next week. Maradona, who captained Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986, joins fellow World Cup winners Laurent Blanc of France, Gordon Banks of England, Cafu of Brazil, Fabio Cannavaro of Italy and Carles Puyol of Spain as draw assistants, football world governing body Fifa said on Tuesday.
Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, who played in the 2014 edition, joins the assistants along with 91-year-old Russian football great Nikita Simonyan, who played at the 1958 World Cup.
Miroslav Klose, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014 and all-time leading World Cup scorer, had already been announced as trophy bearer, ensuring all eight World Cup-winning nations are represented at the show. The assistants will join England striker Gary Lineker and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya, who will host the December 1 draw at the State Kremlin Palace. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said it was “a great line-up”featuring “legends from all of the former World Cup winning countries.” The 32-team World Cup opens June 14 and concludes on July 15. — dpa