Maradona makes public appearance
© Getty Images

Football legend Diego Maradona met with ex-Argentine president Nestor Kirchner on Friday, his first public appearance after bitter words exchanged over his dismissal as the country's national team coach.

Maradona, 49, has been largely out of the media spotlight since his return from South Africa, where he took his team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals but lost to Germany in a humiliating 4-0 defeat.

The Argentine living deity met Kirchner, Argentina's president 2003-2007, at the meeting at the Los Olivos presidential palace where Kirchner's wife Cristina is president.

"They talked about football and history, there was a little bit of everything, remembering anecdotes - it was a meeting of friends," said Kirchner's spokesman Juan Manuel Abal Medina. The ex-national team coach gave the former president a signed national team jacket.

Maradona was last seen in public on July 28 after he lost his coaching job and accused Julio Grondona, the head of the Argentine Football Association, of lying to him, and accused team manager Carlos Bilardo of betraying him.

He claimed that the pair had gone back on their word after telling him his job was safe after Argentina's crushing defeat in South Africa.

Maradona, one of the greatest football players in history, was fired as head coach after just 18 months for refusing to replace some of his backroom staff.

However he received support from the highest level, with President Cristina Kirchner expressing her sadness at his sacking and saying the star did not deserve his treatment.