A phenomenon has passed

A look into the life of one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen.


Photo credit: https://cdn.britannica.com/76/124976-050-E03E50CE/Diego-Maradona-1986.jpg

Mohd Haroon Siddiqi

On November 25, 2020, football lost its Golden Boy, Diego Maradona. The Argentine World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack at his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the age of 60. He was clubbed along with Brazil’s Pele as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Maradona was born on October 30, 1960 in Lanus, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started off his career at a tender age of eight and then associated with Las Cebolitas (The Little Onions), which was one of the biggest clubs in Argentina, then. The club with his presence won 136 consecutive games and also a national championship. At the age of 14, he signed with Argentinos Juniors and made his international debut in 1976, becoming the youngest Argentinian ever to do so. He was a fearless midfielder in the team that clinched the 1986 World Cup.

People still remember two of his historic goals he scored in the quarter final against England at Estadio Azteca. The first goal was scored by a handball, which Maradona himself confessed after the match as “The hand of God”. He should have actually received a yellow card for using his hand, but lead his team to a controversial win. The second goal he scored was with an amazing dribble, streaming through five England defenders and goal-keeper Shelton.

His career started to decline after the 1990 FIFA World cup when he failed a drug test for cocaine and was banned for 15 months. He was also booked for an unappetising action of firing an air gun towards press reporters. Despite a ceremonial return to Boca, by 1995 his football career had come to an end. After his retirement, his health started to deteriorate owing to alcohol and substance abuse. This indulgent lifestyle had put him in the spotlight and, at times, overshadowed his achievements on the field. But all of this didn’t prevent him from moving forward in his life.

Maradona started his managerial career alongside former Argentinos Juniors teammate Carlos Fren. He was selected as the coach of Argentina ahead of the 2011 World Cup in South Africa, but he could not guide the team to win it.

At 60, his health started to deteriorate even more after he underwent a surgery for a subdural haematoma. He died on November 25. Maradona once famously said: “I am black or white; I’ll never be grey in my life.”

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