Jana was born on April 4, 1996, the result of a relationship between Diego Armando Maradona and Valeria Sabalain and although she always maintained a very low profile, on October 31, when the football star turned 60 decided to speak. In an interview he gave for Infobae, Diego’s daughter recounted what it was like when she met her dad and what they said. I always knew, it’s not like my mom one day told me, «Your dad’s Maradona,» she started saying.
«I was 15 and I thought, ‘we’re mortals’ and I didn’t want Dad to leave this world without knowing him,» he said of his decision to contact Maradona.
However, the meeting was given in a surprising and unsuspecting manner, without prior planning. «With my lawyer we did all the possible and correct ways to get to Maradona. It was very difficult. I wrote him a letter, talked to people close to him, and it was impossible. Until one day in 2014, a journalist, a friend of my mom’s, told me where I could find him. We were in Palermo walking around and he tells us Diego was in a gym in Cañitas. We were close. My mom got nervous and didn’t want to go, but I was determined,» she said.
At that time and after a communication with the lawyer, Valeria and Jana took the step and headed to the gym. «When I faced the receptionist to explain, she stayed like ‘What, a daughter of Maradona who comes to know him!’ but she told me she was going to ask. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life. He came back and told us he was going to meet me.» The long-awaited encounter «When we passed, they hugged my mom and cried. It was all very emotional. He hugged me and apologized. Honestly, he was a healer. The first thing he said to me was ‘forgive me’, he apologized to my mom. There we sat down, he asked me my name, how old I was and then the one with the questions was me,» he recounted. Jana, who already had a failure of justice in favor and DNA evidence confirming to her that she was indeed a Maradona, needed to hear it from her voice, her dad’s voice and be able to hug him after 15 years of searching.
«I needed your confirmation. So I say’ ‘Am I your daughter?’ And he said’ and if Mommy, if you’re just like me.’ And we laughed.»
That moment was epic for both of them’s lives, and since then they have not separated any more, but Jana had a very special request that she wanted to make to Diego, and it was to be able to meet her grandfather, Chitoro, father of the Ten.
Quickly, Diego organized a meeting the next day and it was also time for the official presentation to the rest of the family, uncles, aunts and cousins. And by December 2014, Jana spent the first Christmas with her dad.