“In my heart, I am Palestinian,” the soccer legend told Abbas during the meeting on Sunday, which followed the final World Cup game.
The Palestinian leader was in Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin for talks on bilateral and regional issues.
The Argentinean public figure reiterated his long-standing support for Palestinians and expressed hope that Palestine will eventually become an internationally-recognized sovereign country.
On his Instagram account, Maradona wrote, “President Abbas has a country and has a right. I am Palestinian.”
Maradona is famed for his pro-Palestinian stance, and opposition to Israel’s deadly acts of aggression targeting Palestinians.
During Israel’s last war against the blockaded Gaza Strip In 2014, which killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, he blasted the regime, saying, “What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is shameful. That is all…I love you all so much.”
Reports also said back then that Maradona was in negotiations with the Palestinian Football Association over the possibility of coaching the Palestinian national team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
In 2012, he had made headlines by saying, “I am the number one fan of the Palestinian people. I respect them and sympathize with them. I support Palestine without any fear.”