Argentine football legend and one of the greatest football players of all time, Diego Maradona passed away on 25th November 2020 due to a cardiac arrest, creating an insurmountable loss in the world of football.
An intrepid midfielder, Maradona was known for his passing, dribbling skills, and ball control and was widely known to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. It would not be wrong to say that he inspired many across the world to fall in love with the sport of football.
Flamboyant, bold, outrageous, mercurial, extraordinary, gifted, and eccentric are just a few words to describe this genius, who was often called “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy” in Argentina.
A recipient of numerous awards in his lifetime, he was the joint winner of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.
Here is a glimpse of the life of the icon:
Born on 30th October in Buenos Aires in Argentina, Maradona demonstrated his prodigious talent in football very early. At the mere age of 8, he began playing for Las Cebollitas (“The Little Onions”), a boys’ team that he led to win a record 136 consecutive games and a national championship. He made his debut in first-division football at 15, and began playing for the national team at the age of 16, becoming the youngest Argentine ever to do so.
In the early 1980s, Maradona began playing for FC Barcelona for a world-record $8 million. Subsequently, he played for SSC Napoli, where he enjoyed massive success.
He represented the Argentine National team in four World Cups in 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1994. However, it was the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico for which he would forever be remembered, leading his team to win the coveted trophy. It was in the quarterfinal of this World Cup against England, where he scored two extraordinary goals and helped his team win the match 2-1. One of them is now infamous as the Hand of God, where Maradona used his hand to hit a goal but went unpenalized. The second goal, voted the Goal of the Century by FIFA.com voters in 2002, was when Maradona dashed passed a pack of English defenders to put the ball in the goalpost. He was awarded the Golden Ball for the player of the tournament for this World Cup.
In his later years, he coached multiple teams, including the Argentine National Football team. However, his later life was marred with drug and alcohol abuse and various health issues.
There is no denying that Maradona brought not only incredible skill but also true artistry to the football pitch. And football will certainly not remain the same without this legend.