I'm aiming for 75 kilograms: Maradona

Maradona before (below) and after (top) losing 27 kilograms.

A slimmer and healthier looking Diego Maradona today said he had lost 27 kilograms since a recent operation and he was aiming to drop about another 20 kilograms.

"I'm feeling well. I'm down 27 kilograms. I'm aiming for 75 kilograms," a smiling and relaxed Maradona told a packed press conference in a central Madrid hotel hours after arriving in the Spanish capital from Havana, Cuba.

Maradona lost the weight after undergoing a stomach operation in March in Colombia. Before the operation, the 1.67m Argentine weighed 121kg.

"I needed to do it for my health and for my daughters," said the 44-year-old former striker who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title and 1990 final.

Referring to his battle with drugs he said, "I'm recovered, but not cured. This is a constant fight."

Maradona said he was in Spain "to get soaked in football" and to see friends.

"I want to meet Ronaldo personally. I had a good telephone conversation with him," he said, adding that he also wanted to meet Arrigo Sacchi, Raul, Roberto Carlos and Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

Sacchi is a director at Real Madrid, and Luxemburgo is the team's coach. Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Raul play for Madrid.

Maradona said he also planned to see Atletico de Madrid play midweek, and then travel to Barcelona to meet FC Barcelona's Brazilian world player of the year Ronaldinho.

Maradona played for Barcelona before moving to Italian club Napoli. He won two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup with the southern Italian team.

Asked what he thought of Barcelona being odds-on to win the Spanish title this season, he said:

"Barcelona are a worthy champion. (Coach Frank) Rijkaard has done a fantastic job."

Maradona said he was still considering an offer to work with the youth teams at former club Boca Juniors in Argentina.

"Professional soccer doesn't interest me but junior categories do," he said.