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 By Ben Gladwell

Diego Maradona and Juan Sebastian Veron clash at Match of Peace

Diego Maradona and Juan Sebastian Veron clashed in a charity game in Rome on Wednesday night, with a heated exchange between the pair on their way off the field at half-time.

The Match of Peace, arranged by Pope Francis, featured an array of retired legends and current stars including Ronaldinho, Francesco Totti, Edgar Davids, Hernan Crespo and Bojan Krkic.

However, former Argentina star Maradona did not appear happy with several tackles from his compatriot and he had to be held back by ex-Brazil defender Cafu after he pointed the finger at Veron and attempted to pursue him.

Security staff intervened to separate the pair as they left the field.

Veron, who played under Maradona at the 2010 World Cup, was heavily critical of his management after that tournament and there was another public spat when the 1986 World Cup winner had hoped to return to the national team setup in July. 

Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho were among the top names at the Match of Peace on Wednesday.

Maradona, though, was full of praise for 40-year-old Roma forward Totti, whom he played alongside on Wednesday, and even tried to give him the armband.

"I'm going to tell him that he's got to carry on playing -- he's a Roma legend," Maradona said prior to the game.

However, Totti said afterwards: "Now I've played with Maradona, I might as well stop playing."

Maradona's team lost the charity game in Rome's Stadio Olimpico 4-3 with Fernando Cavenaghi scoring the winning goal. Antonio Di Natale had put Maradona's team in front before Frederic Kanoute levelled.

Totti converted an assist from Maradona to restore their lead before Bojan struck. Crespo and Nicolas Burdisso exchanged goals before Cavenaghi's winner.

Both Ronaldinho and Maradona had an audience with Pope Francis prior to the match.

In his message, the Argentine pope stressed that "peace can be achieved through playing sports," and he thanked the players for "spreading peace through sport."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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