Early years[ edit ] Maradona as a child, playing the Torneos Evita with the "Cebollitas" "When Diego came to Argentinos Juniors for trials, I was really struck by his talent and couldn't believe he was only eight years old.
In fact, we asked him for his ID card so we could check it, but he told us he didn't have it on him. We were sure he was having us on because, although he had the physique of a child, he played like an adult. When we discovered he'd been telling us the truth, we decided to devote ourselves purely to him. He was the first son after three daughters.
He was the fifth child and first son of Diego Maradona "Chitoro" d. Maradona's parents were both born and brought up in the town of Esquina in the north-east province of Corrientes Province, living only two hundred metres from each other on the banks of the Corriente River.
In , they left Esquina and settled in Buenos Aires. At age eight, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja.
As a year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games. Boca defeated River 3—0 with Maradona scoring a goal after dribbling past Alberto Tarantini and Fillol. When Maradona ran with the ball or dribbled through the defence, he seemed to have the ball tied to his boots. I remember our early training sessions with him: We all thought ourselves privileged to be witnesses of his genius.
This started a chain reaction of emotional reactions from both teams. Using expletives, Sola mimicked a gesture from the crowd towards Maradona by using a xenophobic term. From this point, Barcelona and Bilbao players brawled on the field with Maradona in the centre of the action, kicking and punching anyone in a Bilbao shirt. During his two injury-hit seasons at Barcelona, Maradona scored 38 goals in 58 games.
Throughout his career he would wear number 10 for both club and country. Maradona arrived in Naples and was presented to the world media as a Napoli player on 5 July , where he was welcomed by 75, fans at his presentation at the Stadio San Paolo. Milan , Juventus , Inter Milan and Roma , and no team in the south of the Italian Peninsula had ever won a league title.
A rolling series of impromptu street parties and festivities broke out contagiously across the city in a round-the-clock carnival which ran for over a week. The world was turned upside down. The Neapolitans held mock funerals for Juventus and Milan, burning their coffins, their death notices announcing 'May , the other Italy has been defeated.
A new empire is born. Milan central defender Franco Baresi stated, "Maradona; when he was on form, there was almost no way of stopping him," a view shared by his Milan teammate Paolo Maldini , who stated, "The best ever I played against was Maradona. Despite interest from Real Madrid and Marseille , he signed for Sevilla , where he stayed for one year. The match was a testimonial for Osvaldo Ardiles , who insisted that his friend Maradona play. He made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary , on 27 February On 2 June , Maradona scored his first senior international goal in a 3—1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Maradona did so in and , which Messi emulated in and The Catalan crowd was eager to see their new world-record signing Maradona in action, but he did not perform to expectations,  as Argentina, the defending champions, lost 1—0.
Although the team convincingly beat both Hungary and El Salvador in Alicante to progress to the second round, there were internal tensions within the team, with the younger, less experienced players at odds with the older, more experienced players. With Argentina already down 3—0 to Brazil, Maradona's temper eventually got the better of him and he was sent off with five minutes remaining for a serious retaliatory foul against Batista.
He played every minute of every Argentina game, scoring five goals and making five assists, three of those in the opening match against South Korea at the Olimpico Universitario Stadium in Mexico City. His first goal of the tournament came against Italy in the second group game in Puebla. After scoring two contrasting goals in the 2—1 quarter-final win against England, his legend was cemented. The majesty of his second goal and the notoriety of his first led to the French newspaper L'Equipe describing Maradona as "half-angel, half-devil".
Replays showed that the first goal was scored by striking the ball with his hand. Maradona was coyly evasive, describing it as "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God". Ultimately, on 22 August , Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and no contact with his head was made, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate.
This became known as an international fiasco in World Cup history. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players. He received the ball in his own half, swivelled around and with 11 touches ran more than half the length of the field, dribbling past five English outfield players Peter Beardsley , Steve Hodge , Peter Reid , Terry Butcher and Terry Fenwick before he left goalkeeper Peter Shilton on his backside with a feint , and slotted the ball into the net.
Argentina beat West Germany 3—2 in front of , fans at the Azteca. An ankle injury affected his overall performance, and he was much less dominant than four years earlier. After losing their opening game to Cameroon at the San Siro in Milan , Argentina were almost eliminated in the first round, only qualifying in third position from their group.
In the round of 16 match against Brazil in Turin , Claudio Caniggia scored the only goal after being set up by Maradona. The semi-final against the host nation Italy at Maradona's club stadium in Naples, the Stadio San Paolo, was also resolved on penalties after a 1—1 draw. This time, however, Maradona was successful with his effort, daringly rolling the ball into the net with an almost exact replica of his missed shot in the previous round.
His claim was that the U. Maradona has also separately claimed that he had an agreement with FIFA, on which the organization reneged, to allow him to use the drug for weight loss before the competition in order to be able to play.
Creole football "Diego was capable of things no one else could match. The things I could do with a football, he could do with an orange. Not that I'd want to anyway. He's the greatest there's ever been. I'd never felt like that before, but it's true It was impossible to score such a beautiful goal.
He's the greatest player of all time, by a long way. He was a strategist and a team player, as well as highly technical with the ball. He could manage himself effectively in limited spaces, and would attract defenders only to quickly dash out of the melee as in the second goal against England ,  or give an assist to a free teammate.
Being short, but strong, he could hold the ball long enough with a defender on his back to wait for a teammate making a run or to find a gap for a quick shot. He showed leadership qualities on the field and captained Argentina in their World Cup campaigns of , and Another trademark was the rabona , a reverse-cross pass shot behind the leg that holds all the weight.
Lionel Messi has won more trophies. Both have lived more stable lives than the overweight former cocaine addict who tops this list, whose relationship with football became increasingly strained the longer his career continued. During his run past several England players in the previous round for the "Goal of the Century" he did not use his right foot once, despite spending the whole movement on the right-hand side of the pitch.
In the World Cup second round tie against Brazil, he did use his right foot to set up the winning goal for Claudio Caniggia due to two Brazilian markers forcing him into a position that made use of his left foot less practical.
This quote from former teammate Jorge Valdano summarizes the feelings of many: He is someone many people want to emulate, a controversial figure, loved, hated, who stirs great upheaval, especially in Argentina Stressing his personal life is a mistake.
Maradona has no peers inside the pitch, but he has turned his life into a show, and is now living a personal ordeal that should not be imitated. Maradona won the Internet-based poll, garnering Maradona laid the foundation stone for a football academy in the eastern suburbs of the city, and was greeted by over , fans in Salt Lake Stadium. With Maradona fostering a close relationship with the players, Boca won the Apertura , the Clausura , the Copa Sudamericana and the Recopa Sudamericana.
On 15 August , Maradona made his debut as host of a talk-variety show on Argentine television, La Noche del 10 "The Night of the no. In subsequent evenings, he led the ratings on all occasions but one. On 26 August , it was announced that Maradona was quitting his position in the club Boca Juniors because of disagreements with the AFA, who selected Alfio Basile to be the new coach of the Argentina national team.