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What a legend! Muchas Gracias, Diego!!

Maradona's Havana of God

SOCCER legend Diego Maradona sparked a fire scare which gave Chelsea players a rude awakening yesterday — with a giant CIGAR.

Firemen believe the Argentinian football boss — famed for his “Hand of God†goal against England — triggered alarms at 7am by puffing on a Havana.

An entourage with the 48-year-old ex-player, who now manages his national team, are also thought to have been smoking in 14th-floor rooms.

The alert led to 200 guests being evacuated from the posh hotel in Manchester where Chelsea were staying before their match with Man Utd.

Bleary-eyed stars in bathrobes and towels had to stand outside shivering — before going on to be thumped 3-0 at Old Trafford following their night of shattered kip.

Stars including John Terry, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard waited for 40 minutes in near-freezing temperatures before getting the all-clear to go back inside the Radisson Edwardian hotel.

Several, including Michael Ballack, looked tired as they left later to head to the stadium.

Maradona was in Manchester to watch Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez turn out for United, though the player was left on the subs' bench.

Officially, Greater Manchester Fire Service said it could not say what caused the alarm.

But a fireman at the scene said: “It looks as though it was set off by Diego and his entourage smoking cigars on the 14th floor.â€

Two fire trucks raced to the 263-room hotel and ten firefighters checked out every floor.

One guest said: “I saw most of Chelsea outside shivering.

“It wasn't the best preparation for a vital game.â€

After the defeat — Chelsea's worst at Old Trafford for 15 years — coach Felipe Scolari admitted his team were outplayed and “some very big damage†had been done to their title challenge.

Hotel manager Steve Miles said: “We fllowed procedure. It was a genuine alarm.â€
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