10/18/2013 11:57 EDT | Updated 12/18/2013 05:12 EST

Italy tax collectors notify Maradona of plans to freeze assets to collect 39M euro tax debt

ROME - Italy's tax collection agency says it has formally notified Diego Maradona that it will begin procedures to freeze his assets in Italy to pay off his tax debt of 39 million euros ($53 million).

Equitalia confirmed news reports Friday saying its agents had served Maradona with the notification in his Milan hotel room, and that he signed the documentation. The Argentine great was in Italy to promote a video series on his life and watch his old club Napoli play Roma on Friday.

Maradona's Italian debts stem from alleged unpaid taxes during the time he played for Napoli from 1984-91, when he helped the club win its only two Serie A titles.

In previous visits to Italy, tax police have confiscated two Rolex watches and a diamond earring from Maradona.