Diego Maradona, suspended from soccer earlier this month for using cocaine, was arrested Friday for possession of a half-kilo of the drug.

Two other men also were arrested at an apartment in the Buenos Aires suburb of Caballito, local news agencies reported.Maradona, 30, was suspended by the Italian League on March 29 after an analysis of his urine taken following Napoli's March 17 victory over Bari tested positive for cocaine.

The Italian League two weeks ago formally suspended Maradona for 15 months, a ban that was extended world-wide by the International Federation of Association Football.

Maradona, the best-known soccer player in the world, led Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986 and to the final last year. He led Napoli to Italian League championships in 1987 and 1990. The annual earnings of the man who grew up in a shantytown outside Buenos Aires have been estimated at between $12 million to $15 million,

Argentine fans have a special place in their heart for the player who remembered his roots, and said over and over that he intends to end his playing career at Boca Juniors, the Argentine first division on which he used to play.

Fans outside the apartment at first blocked police from putting Maradona into the squad car. Reinforcements arrived and finally the player, in the center of a cordon, was put in the car and driven to the federal police that specializes in narcotics crimes.

Prior to the suspension, Maradona made $2 million a year playing for Napoli, as well as an estimated $10 millionto $13 million a year from commerical endorsements.

Despite the suspension, Maradona, who grew up in a shantytown outside Buenos Aires, remains a hero to most Argentine fans.

Maradona has not forgotten his roots, saying over and over that he intends to end his playing career at Boca Juniors, his old Argentine first division team.