Diego Maradona died: Argentine football legend was 60 years old

The death of Diego Armando Maradona, a pug boy from the slums of Buenos Aires who dripped and dazzled his way to world fame, became one of the greatest footballers of all time, but also self-destructive..

Maradona never stood away from the spotlight he was chasing with such anger, dying of a heart attack on Wednesday, the Associated Press confirmed. Maradona has suffered from health problems in recent years, recently suffering from a subdural hematoma that required brain surgery. He was 60 years old.

As the news of Maradona’s death toured the world on Wednesday, Argentine President Fernandez called for three days of national mourning, while UEFA, the European governing body for football, announced a minute’s silence ahead of its Champions League and Europa League matches this week.

The football stars of the past and present have said goodbye to social media.

Pele, the Brazilian legend and perhaps the greatest player of all time, wrote on Twitter that he “lost a great friend and the world a legend. … One day I hope we can play ball together in the sky.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-time Portuguese world player of the year who is currently starring Juventus, tweeted, “Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius.”

Diego Maradona flashed signs of victory to fans after meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on December 26, 2019.

Diego Maradona flashed signs of victory to fans after meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on December 26, 2019.

(Associated Press)

Like the other famous Argentine export, tango, Maradona has brought a sense, passion and an undeniable sense of darkness into his sport and life. Few on the field were able to compare his artistry, dexterity and creativity, but he could also be an insidious, angry player. Off the field, he was a shaky appetizing man whose exaggerations often led him to the hospital.

At the age of 15, during a professional career beginning on the field in Buenos Aires, Maradona scored hundreds of goals, many of which are legendary, including two in a single match against England at the 1986 World Cup. The former is considered by many to be the most infamous goal in the history of the sport, and the latter the most celebrated.

His career culminated when he led Argentina’s national team to victory in the 1986 World Cup. But drug abuse and other self-destructive acts polluted his last player years, and he retired in 1997, just a former whisper.

Maradona played 91 matches in the Argentine national team and was the star of the Italian and Spanish teams. In 1994, he played his last World Cup game in mass Foxboro and was escorted off the field for a drug test in which he would fail.

One of the eight children of a migrant worker from Maradona, in the rural province of Corrientes, was born on 30 October 1960. Villa Miseria or slum, in the suburban community of Villa Fiorito Buenos Aires. The family lived in miserable poverty.

In his autobiography, “I’m El Diego,” he recalled walking into school and kicking a ball through the streets, stairs, and railroad tracks. He spent hours playing a pickup game on a nearby equestrian pasture.

At the age of 9, a friend invited him to a rehearsal for the Argentino Juniors, an adult professional football team. He was so impressed to get a place in the team’s feeding club, Cebollitas or Little Onion.

The little onion wins 136 games without defeating, the young Maradona often scoring three or more goals in a single match.

By the time he was 12, he was working on professional games as a ball boy, with his mid-term juggling skills he became a favorite of the crowd. He was invited by a television variety show to show off his talent, and the football-mad Argentina became a minor celebrity.

A few days before his 16th birthday, the Argentinos coach brought him to the first team. First entering the pitch as a substitute, the coach told him, “Go, Diego, and play as you know how to play. And if you can, drip it over someone’s feet. Minutes later, young Maradona did just that.

“That day,” he said later in his resume, “I felt as if I had touched the sky with my hand.”

Leading Argentine troops started a tender war for their services. He moved his family from Villa Fiorito to an apartment. He eventually joined the famous Boca Juniors team.

Diego Maradona was greeted by club president Corrado Ferlaino after joining the Italian power, Napoli, in July 1984.

Diego Maradona was greeted by club president Corrado Ferlaino after joining the Italian power, Napoli, in July 1984.

(Bob Thomas / Getty Images)

He was first named to the Argentine national team in 1977 at the age of 16. But coach Cesar Luis Menotti could not name the team that won the 1978 World Cup hosted by Argentina. Maradona was smashed.

“I knew he was a great player who would have a chance to play in many more World Cups,” Menotti said years later.

In 1982, after getting into the Boca Juniors league, Maradona signed with the Spanish club Barcelona. Friends said he got his first taste of cocaine there.

“I was, I’m still, and I’ve always been a drug addict,” he admitted years later.

But his power on the field only seemed to increase. After fighting several times with the Barcelona leadership, he moved to the Italian club Napoli and scored a series of remarkable goals that quickly fell in love with the notoriously shaky Italian fans.

The full range of abilities at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was demonstrated. He scored five goals during the tournament when Argentina reached his second World Cup victory, but he will always remember them for scoring two in the quarter-final match against England. His passion for the game was great, they played just three years after Britain defeated Argentina in the Falklands War.

With the goalless goal, Maradona stood up and challenged Peter Shilton, the English goalkeeper, for a high pass. Maradona hit the ball into the goal with his fist, which was an obvious violation of the rules by almost everyone except the referee.

After asking if he used his hand, Maradona said the goal was scored by “God’s hand.”

Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

Five minutes later, Maradona got another one. He carried the ball in his own half of the field, dripping and weaving through much of the English team, then falling to the ground when he defeated Shilton. In a survey two decades later, FIFA, the international governing body for football, chose the biggest goal in the history of the World Cup.

“Today he scored one of the most brilliant goals he will ever see,” English coach Bobby Robson said after the match. “The first goal was doubtful. The second goal was a miracle. “

Argentina beat England 2-1.

“It’s as if we’ve beaten a country, not just a football team,” Maradona wondered in his autobiography.

A week later, when Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2 in the league match, he stormed off the field and into the locker room, shouting obscenities; For Maradona, victory was always flooded with the lingering anger he felt for his rivals and contempt.

Still at the height of his strength, he inspired Napoli to win his first Italian championship titles in 1987 and 1990. In 1989, he married his childhood sweetheart, Claudia Villafaña, but later admitted to being unfaithful to her. In 1991, he was suspended again for 15 months after finding cocaine positive.

He was on a noticeably overweight diet before the 1994 U.S. World Cup. But after scoring two goals in three games, he failed a test of ephedrine, a performance-enhancing drug. He was ousted from the World Cup and banned from the sport for 15 months.

“My soul is shattered,” Maradona said. But he blamed FIFA officials more than himself. “I had my legs cut out when I tried to come back.”

Diego Maradona celebrates a goal while playing for Boca Juniors in 1981.

Diego Maradona celebrates a goal while playing for Boca Juniors in 1981.

(Atlantis / Photogram

Maradona eventually returned to his old Argentine club team, Boca Juniors, where he retired in 1997.

Away from the field, Maradona looked like a sad, rotundated figure. He traveled to Cuba in 2002 to deal with drug abuse and eventually befriended Fidel Castro. When he returned to Argentina, he was tattooed on one arm by Argentine revolutionary Ernest “Che” Guevara, one of Castro’s lieutenants, during the Cuban Revolution.

Shortly after her divorce in 2004, Maradona began another downward spiral and was hospitalized for drug overdose and then alcohol poisoning again. His family took him to a hospital in a psychiatric institution after threatening to leave the intensive care unit where he received treatment. He was released, but returned a few days later after overeating. His death seemed so imminent that the Buenos Aires dailies made separate sections with his obituary.

A few weeks later, however, he was released and hosted one of Argentine television’s popular evening shows, “Night With No. 10”. Throughout his career, he never seemed to forget where he came from, lending his name and profile to dozens of charitable endeavors that raised millions, mostly for children.

He trained briefly and irregularly for the two teams in the Argentine Championship, and then in 2008 he was handed the reins of the country’s national team in a move that shocked and joyed the nation alike. which fought before the World Cup in order to repair itself. The team advanced to the eighth final, hoping that the majestic football knowledge of new superstar Lionel Messi would overcome Maradona’s confused coaching decisions. He was fired in 2010.

In 2018, Maradona – whose gait has now become a stir and his once sharp voice became a mutter – was hired as the coach of Dorados, a professional team based in Sinaloa, Mexico, in the heart of the drug country. The only person in Sinaloa who was more famous than Maradona was Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the legendary drug king.

“Maradona is being taken to Sinaloa like a kid is being taken to Disneyland,” wrote sportswoman Rafael Martinez on Twitter.

Diego Maradona shouts instructions as he coaches Argentina in the match against Mexico on June 27, 2010.

Diego Maradona shouts instructions as he coaches Argentina in the June 27, 2010 World Cup game against Mexico.

(Martin Meissner / Associated Press)

But Maradona, again silencing the critics, redeemed him. from knee injuries and using a cane while mixing, Maradona managed to take the young team buried deep in the Mexican second division to the playoff finals, where they lost by extra time.

“He’s very happy, very happy with his work,” said former Fox Deportes analyst Daniel Brailovsky, a teammate. “It’s his passion, it’s his life. That’s all for him.

– Maradona can’t live without football. and football cannot live without Maradona. “

Six months later, he left Mexico and quickly resurrected in Argentina as manager of the Gimnasia de la Plata.

His film life was immortalized in HBO’s 2019 documentary “Diego Maradona,” filmmaker Asif Kapadia combed never-before-seen footage for 500 hours. The result depicts Maradona as he was: a tortured and talented man at the same time, a superhero, an antihero, and a villain who was very talented on the field and insanely lost from him.

“The synthesis of Maradona Argentina,” suggested Guillermo Oliveta, president of Argentina Marketing Assn. “He came from terrible poverty and went up so fast in a social situation. And then it crashed, as did the country.

Tobar is a former Times fellow.

Staff writers Kevin Baxter and Steve Marble contributed to the report.