Diego Maradona died on the 25th of November 2020
Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentine professional football player and manager. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.
To England fans, he was a cheat. In the 1986 World Cup, Maradona handled the ball into the goal to help Argentina beat England 2 – 1. To be fair, he also scored what was described as ‘the goal of the century’ a few minutes later.
The 1986 FIFA World Cup Final was the final and deciding game of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, held in Mexico. The match was held at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on 29 June 1986 and had an attendance of 114,600. It was contested by Argentina and West Germany. Argentina won the match 3–2 in normal time.
Diego Maradona in Malaga
Maradona was the Muhamed Ali of football; everyone knew who he was and what he did. Everywhere he went, he was received as a sporting legend. This continued even after he had retired from playing.
In 1982, for example, Maradona visited Malaga to host a tennis competition (yes, tennis) which was generating little interest, just the mention of Diego Maradona being the host sold the tickets out in less than an hour.
His visit to the Malaga CF stadium with his new team Barçelona broke gate receipt records. Maradona was loved, admired and, to some, despised.
Diego the flawed genius
He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, and Newell’s Old Boys during his club career, and is most famous for his time at Napoli and Barcelona, where he won numerous accolades.
Maradona’s two seasons at Barcelona were successful, winning a Copa del Rey, a Supercopa de Espana and Copa de la Liga. However, his career at Barcelona will perhaps be remembered more for his off-field problems than his achievements on the pitch.
In both seasons, Maradona missed numerous games. The first was mainly due to hepatitis, though many think it was actually a venereal disease, and the second was due to a serious injury sustained from a challenge by Andoni Goikoetxea.
It was in Barcelona that Maradona got involved with drugs, a problem that would remain with him for the rest of his life. His partying lifestyle would also cause issues, and it is widely believed that Cesar Luis Menotti moved training sessions to the afternoon so that players would report on time and will have recovered from partying the night before. More of this story Marca.com
After his time at Barçelona, Diego was shipped off to Napoli. A big gamble for Napoli. A big challenge for Maradona, after all, Napoli were not a successful club by any stretch of the imagination. There were few, if any, great players in the squad.
Maradona was at Napoli between 1984-91 and helped them win the league title in 1987 and 1990, and the Uefa Cup in 1989.
A 2019 documentary film chronicled his wild Naples years when he became addicted to cocaine and partying. He had a son whom he only recognised after an Italian court ordered him to pay maintenance and he was pursued by the local tax authorities over unpaid arrears for years after his departure.
A blog is too short to document the rise and fall of a great sporting legend such as Maradona. Luckily, there is a fantastic HBO documentary that I would strongly recommend in which it gives you the real Diego Maradona, warts and all. (see the above trailer)
It changed my opinion of the player and the man, I’m sure you will find it a fascinating documentary.