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Diego Armando Maradona

Name : Diego Armando Maradona
Date of Birth: 30 October 1960
Birthplace: Villa Fiorito, Argentina

An Albiceleste underdog who beat the world

Some things never lose currency in Argentina - beef, women and dulce de leche (a caramel dessert) among them. Football is another source of comfort for the masses, and one player in particular has provided more than his share of tender loving care - Maradona. The former national team captain headed the queue when the football muses visited the republic. And in a land which looks to the game for its daily bread, he is considered nothing short of divine. Maradona Diego

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Making friends with the ball Maradona made the ball an early friend and it was his constant companion in the games of street football that taught him how to compete with older and bigger opponents. Despite this toughening process, however, Maradona's physique, or lack of it, almost cost him his career. Maradona

The Argentinos Juniors youth coach, Francis Cornejo, had no doubts about his ability - yet could not believe that the little left-footer was old enough to play for his team. His date of birth duly established, Maradona became the star of the 'Cebollitas' helping them go 136 matches unbeaten. The senior squad beckoned, and on 20 October 1976 the 15-year-old debuted for Argentinos Juniors in the first division against Talleres de Cordoba. Diego Armando Maradona Another 21 seasons, another bow: the final curtain fell on Diego's career after Boca Juniors' 2-1 defeat of River Plate on 29 October 1997. In the intervening years, Barcelona, Napoli, Seville and Newell's Old Boys had all witnessed the Maradona phenomenon at first hand - a pocket battleship of a player blessed with supreme technique and a magical left foot. Maradona Controversial from the start

It was the national team that saw the best of him, however. Thirty-four goals in 91 appearances make him the Albicelestes second top scorer after Gabriel Batistuta. And his contribution was such that the Argentine Football Federation (AFA) recently 'retired' his old No.10 shirt. This love affair began on 3 April 1977 when Maradona first played for his country in a friendly against a local selection. Soon there were calls for coach Cesar Luis Menotti to include him in the squad for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup finals. Argentina would win the tournament on home soil - but without Diego whom Menotti thought too young to participate.Maradona Diego Amends were made the following summer when Maradona inspired his peers (not that he had many equals) to victory at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan. "That was the most fun I had on a football pitch," he said later. "Apart from my daughters, nothing has given me as much pleasure." Diego Armando Maradona

No stranger to success then, he also courted controversy. Apologists spoke of the star's "honesty" and "refusal to sell out". Critics did not want for ammunition either - after all, this was a man who once shot at journalists with an air rifle and insulted the Pope on national TV. He always roused the extremes of emotions, yet on the pitch he did as he pleased - and as no other could. "The things I could do with a football, he could do with an orange," eulogised French star Michel Platini. Maradona Balance was the key - which was ironic given his struggle to find equilibrium elsewhere in life. It was impossible to stop 'El Grande' as he slalomed towards goal; and just as unerring was his accuracy from set pieces. Toughness and grandeur The 1982 FIFA World Cup finals did not see enough of those qualities. Argentina lost their opening game to Belgium then beat Hungary and El Salvador. Diego scored twice against the Hungarians, but was unable to repeat the dose against Italy and Brazil in the second round. In fact, he grew so frustrated with his markers that he was sent off against the latter as the holders crashed out. Diego Armando Maradona Mexico 86 was another matter entirely. Maradona's five goals - one against Italy and two apiece against England and Belgium in the quarter and semi-finals - took Carlos Bilardo's side to the final, and sealed his reputation. It was as the greatest player on the planet that he lifted the FIFA World Cup after a 3-2 win over West Germany. Maradona Four years on, he assumed a quite different role for the title defence. The tournament took place in Italy, where Maradona was nearing the end of a seven-year spell with Napoli which would yield two Serie A championships and a UEFA Cup. Though his physical powers diminished by a serious ankle injury, the skipper's will remained as strong as ever and this carried the team through against Brazil, Yugoslavia and Italy in the knockout stages. However, there was nothing he could do about Andreas Brehme's Cup-winning penalty for West Germany. Maradona

The last chapter in Diego's FIFA World Cup history was also the darkest. It unfolded at USA 94 where he helped Argentina triumph over Greece and Nigeria. Then, however, he failed a drugs test - showing signs of the banned stimulant ephedrine - and was banished from the competition. His team-mates followed soon after, the result of defeats by Bulgaria and Romania. Diego Armando Maradona Nevertheless, Argentina celebrated this beautiful, if chequered, career on 10 November 2001 with a testimonial match at La Bombonera stadium, home of Boca Juniors. The No.10 captained the national team to victory over an All Star XI. Same old routine, one might think, but this was a variation on an old theme - Argentina bringing comfort to her favourite footballing son.

Diego Armando Maradona

Playing Career Maradona

 International honours Maradona Diego

91 International appearances, 34 goals 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain second round 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico Champion 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico Player of the Tournament 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy runner up 1994 FIFA World Cup USA second round

Clubs Maradona

1976 - 1981 Argentinos Juniors (166 appearances, 116 goals)
1981 - 1982, 1995-1997 Boca Juniors (71 appearances, 35 goals)
1982 - 1984 Barcelona (58 appearances, 38 goals)
1984 - 1991 Napoli (259 appearances, 115 goals)
1992 - 1993 Seville (29 appearances, 7 goals)
1993 - 1994 Newell's Old Boys (5 appearances, 0 goals)

Club honours Diego Maradona

1981 Argentine Champion
1987, 1990 Italian Champion
1987 Italian Cup Champion
1989 UEFA Cup Champion

Managerial career Maradona Diego

Clubs Maradona

1994 Mandiyu de Corrientes
1995 Racing Club de Avellaneda

Articles 1:
Diego Armando Maradona 1960-, Argentinian soccer star. A strong forward with spectacular abilities, superb dribbling skills, and great personal flair, he began his career as a teenager playing for the Argentinos (1976-80) and Boca juniors (1981). Moving (1982) to Europe, he joined the Barcelona team and led them to the 1983 Spanish Cup. With Italy's Napoli club from 1984, he was instrumental to their winning five championship cups. In 1991, however, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended. Cocaine addiction subsequently plagued him, and he has been several times treated for addiction and health conditions resulting from it. He subseqently played with the Seville club (1992-93) in Spain and Newell's Old Boys (1993) in Rosario, Argentina, but without his old fire.
Maradona represented Argentina on its World Cup teams in 1982 and 1986, the latter year as a captain who dominated the games and led his team to victory with his infamous "hand of God" goal. He was again captain of the 1990 and 1994 national teams, but during the 1994 World Cup he failed another drug test (for ephedrine) and was again suspended. He attempted a comeback in 1995 with the Boca Juniors, but retired two years later after again failing a drug test. A national hero in Argentina, he has been the host of a popular TV talk show since 2005. Articles 2:
Over the course of his professsional club career Maradona played for Boca Juniors, FC Barcelona, and, most distinguishedly, SSC Napoli. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. In that same tournament's quarter-final round he scored two remarkable goals in a 2-1 victory over England which instantly cemented his fame. The first goal was an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal was a spectacular 60-metre weave through six England players, commonly referred to as "The Goal of the Century".
For various reasons, Maradona is considered one of the sport's most controversial and newsworthy figure. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a doping test for cocaine in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA for using ephedrine.
After retiring from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997,[4] he increasingly suffered ill health and weight gain, hardly helped by ongoing cocaine abuse. In 2005 a stomach stapling operation helped control his weight gain. After overcoming his cocaine addiction, he became a popular TV host in Argentina Articles 3:
Nine years ago, Gary Lineker travelled to Argentina to interview Diego Maradona for a BBC documentary. But the Argentine legend did not turn up.
A lot has happened to Maradona since then. He struggled with cocaine addiction, his weight ballooned and he almost died from two heart attacks, before undergoing something of a transformation.
Now the 45-year-old hosts the most popular show on Argentine television, is lithe after a stomach-stapling operation and says he has been clean for two years.
So we decided to go to Argentina again and try to meet the man many believe to be the greatest footballer of all time. Here is the story of the programme we made...
I land in Buenos Aires at 0930 with our fixer. After going to our hotel, we visit Maradona 's ex-wife Claudia, who is now his manager.
She lives just round the corner from Diego with their two daughters. Her flat is luxurious and the walls are covered with pictures of the two of them together.
Her biggest initial concern is whether we have brought along a handbag catalogue for her from London, as promised.
We also meet their eldest daughter, Dalma, who speaks excellent English and is the star of a popular Argentine soap opera.
My first meeting with Maradona . He is having dinner with Matias Almeyda, Junior Baino and Careca ahead of a big Masters five-a-side match between Brazil and Argentina tomorrow.
I am a little nervous about meeting such an icon, but Maradona puts me at ease. In broken English, he invites us to a barbeque at his house at midday on Sunday and says "my house is your house".
Gary later flies into Buenos Aires with the BBC's head of football, Niall Sloane.
Shooting the interview - I'm bottom left watching what's being filmed We interview the producer of Maradona 's chatshow, "La Noche del 10" (The Night of the Number 10). Eduardo Fernandez tells us it's a pleasure to work with Maradona as he treats everyone, from the editor to the runners, as friends.
He's also very hands-on and is personally involved with booking the guests... which probably explains why the likes of Pele, Fidel Castro and Robbie Williams have all appeared on the show.
The mix of Maradona , quirkiness and top guests has made La Noche the most watched show on Argentine television.
The five-a-side between former stars from Argentina and Brazil is not like the Masters matches we get in England. The game is on prime-time television and 6,000 people cram into the tight Buenos Aires stadium to watch.
Maradona has arranged free tickets for the Boca Juniors ultras and they arrive in busloads. The atmosphere is amazing and the Argentina fans are all singing Maradona 's name.
Cuban president Fidel Castro was interviewed by Maradona Gary goes to the Argentina changing room before the game to meet Maradona. It will be the first time they have come face-to-face since a Centenary game at Wembley in 1987 and, unsurprisingly, Gary is apprehensive.
But there is no awkwardness at all - they hug straight away and Maradona says, "Nice to meet you old friend."
When they shake hands, Gary jokes, "was that the hand?" referring to Maradona 's infamous "hand of God" goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina.
Maradona immediately replies, "no - it was the left".
He captains Argentina and scores two goals. He shows hints of his old skills, but is obviously a lot slower than he used to be. Almeyda grabs an equaliser for Argentina in the final minute to make it 7-7.
The referee signals for extra time but Maradona decides the game will end there. He is awarded man of the match, which I'm not sure was altogether justified!
What happens after the match proves that the diminutive midfielder is absolutely idolised in his homeland. He does a 30-minute lap of honour, signing autographs, posing for pictures and shaking hands, and people hold their children over the barriers for him to touch.
  As arranged, we arrive at Maradona 's parents' house, where he lives, at midday. But when we knock on the door there is no answer.
We try for another five minutes and eventually someone appears. He says he is Maradona 's friend and explains that the great man has not yet returned home from last night's five-a-side.
What's more, he doesn't think he will be around for another two or three hours.
So we go to a nearby cafe and watch Liverpool v Arsenal before returning at 2pm. This time a small woman in her late 70s answers the door and invites us in.
She is Maradona 's mother, and her house is a shrine to her son. There are massive portraits of him everywhere.
Dinner with the Maradona family - he was a candid interviewee We find Maradona out in the yard cooking meat on the barbeque with his father.
Gary conducts a long sit-down interview with him for the documentary and Maradona talks candidly about his cocaine addiction, the quarter-final against England and the hand of God (he had already scored similar goals for Boca and says this is craftiness, not cheating), politics, drugs, his two heart attacks and his stomach-stapling operation.
In the evening we drive to Boca's Bombonera stadium for their game against Quilmes. As soon as Maradona gets out of the car, fans surround him, singing songs and reaching out to touch him.
Flanked by security, he struggles through the crowd to his own personal box.
Maradona shows the full gamut of emotions during the game - swearing at the referee; celebrating every goal by hugging Gary; throwing himself down on the ground and holding his head in his hands - as Boca win 3-1 to go top of the league.
The two new friends part with a hug and the promise to meet at next summer's World Cup.
We fly home after an amazing five days with one of the world's most famous figures. We have certainly learnt a lot about him - about his God-like status in Argentina, his love of his family, his continuing passion for football and the way he has pulled his life together. Articles 4:
Nickname: Pelusa, El Pibe de Oro. Position: Offensive Midfield.
Few players can divide opinion like Diego Maradona , yet while some call him a god and others a cheat, none would deny that he was one of the most breathtakingly exciting players the world has had the pleasure to witness.
Diego Maradona was born October 30, 1960, in the extremely poor and crime-infested Buenos Aires neighborhood of Villa Fiorito. He was the son of squatters who lived in a shantyhouse which his father had personally built out of scrap metal. Yet by the time he made his first division debut with Argentinos Juniors in 1976, ten days short of his 16th birthday, he was already a legend in Argentina.
Born with incredible talent, he had joined the junior club Cebollitas by the age of 10, and had amazed the soccer-crazy nation with his spectacular play while leading his junior team to an unbeaten record of 136 matches and an unprecedented hype for a team at that level. As a child prodigy, Maradona was often a feature as halftime entertainment during first division matches, electrifying the crowds with his many ball tricks, putting on a show which was compared favorably, by both fans and the media, to the matches themselves. So, it didn't surprise anybody when young Maradona first entered the field in the second half of a match against Talleres, and proceeded to nutmeg an opponent with one of his first touches of the ball. After that first match, he became an undisputed starter and team leader, leading what was a mediocre bottom-of-the-table and often relegated club to not only remain in the top division but contend for the title. He played 166 matches and scored 116 goals for the humble team of La Paternal, with a best finish of second place in the league. In spite of his many later successes, fans of Argentinos Juniors will argue vehemently that they are the ones who got the best play from Diego Maradona .

In February of 1977, national team coach Cesar Menotti called the 16 year old Maradona for his first international match, a friendly against Hungary at Boca Juniors stadium. Sitting on the bench, Diego watched as Argentina built a 5-1 lead. But the crowd could only think of him, constantly chanting his name, pleading for his inclusion into the game. Twenty five minutes from the end Menotti gave in, and he amazingly took control of the match, coolly maneuvering through the Hungarian defense like a veteran and setting up several scoring chances. However, from the reaction of the crowd Menotti realized the pressure he'd be under to play Maradona , and since he'd already chosen his conductor in Mario Kempes, he decided to leave Maradona out of the squad which went on to win the World Cup in 1978. It is said that when Maradona found out that he was left out of the team, he cried uncontrollably for hours. It was small consolation for him that Menotti called him for the junior squad, and he went on to play brilliantly and win the youth cup for Argentina in 1979. In 1981, Maradona was transfered for a record fee to Boca Juniors, one of the two historic 'big' clubs of Buenos Aires. At the time Boca was struggling and had not won a title in over four years. Although Boca had finished the previous season near the bottom, the expectation was that with Maradona 's addition, along with a new coach in former Boca star Silvio Marzolini, the team was preordained to win the title. Maradona didn't dissapoint. Not only he led Boca to the Argentine championship, his first at the first division level, but he saved his best effort for the most important match, the 'superclasico' against archrival River Plate.

Boca vs River, April 10, 1981. That was the night which defined Diego Maradona forever as an idol and symbol of Boca Juniors. River had built an impressive team, led by several members of the 1978 world champions. But on that night, Maradona established himself as the superior player in Argentina. Boca trashed River 3-0, with Maradona dominating the match and scoring one of the goals, perhaps the most brilliant goal of his career. In the pouring rain, Maradona took a centering pass and controlled the ball with his feet while effortlessly leaving his opponents, including WC stars Gallego, Pasarella and Tarantini, in his wake. He came face to face with legendary goalkeeper Fillol and dribbled around him. He needed one last faint, as Tarantini had managed to sneak behind the goalkeeper in a last defensive effort. And he left the hapless Tarantini spread-eagled at the goal line as he side-stepped one last time to walk the ball into the net. The crowd was sent into a frenzy, and the sheer emotion of the moment caused coach Silvio Marzolini to have a heart attack. Marzolini survived and Boca won the title after a brilliant campaign. From midfield, Maradona continued to amaze. He led the team not only as a playmaker but as the top goalscorer. However, not all was good news. In the midst of an economic crisis, Boca was unable to keep the financial commitments it had made for Maradona , and the team was embroiled in lawsuits and financial troubles. Maradona was also beggining to show some strain and signs of physical and mental fatigue. And how could it have been otherwise? By the age of 20 he had already played over 200 first division matches, in addition to internationals and friendlies. He had scored nearly 140 goals. Of course, the scoring figure underestimates his contributions to the game, as a midfield general, creative force and generator of scoring chances for his teammates, as anybody who has watched him play can testify.

In 1982 Maradona was transfered to Barcelona FC of Spain, for another record fee. It was at Barcelona where Maradona began to show signs of succumbing to the pressure of his greatness. Although he played well and had his moments of brilliance, he never lived up to the high expectations. First he succumbed to a bout of hepatitis, and later he suffered a serious injury after a horrible agression by the aptly named 'Butcher of Bilbao', Andoni Goikoetxea, who was suspended for 10 matches fur the incident. Maradona severely broke his ankle and several tendons, but thanks to his strong determination he came back from the injury after only 106 days. His first match back, against Sevilla, he was spectacular, scoring two goals and leading his team to a 3-1 victory. Later he got his revenge against Goikoetxea and the physical Bilbao side, by scoring two goals in a 2-1 victory. However, Barcelona finished only third behind Bilbao and archrival Real Madrid. They were also eliminated from the European Winners Cup by Manchester United, while Maradona was unable to play due to yet another injury. One Spanish cup title was all he could show for his stint at Barcelona.
Maradona suffered another dissapointment at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Argentina fielded a strong team which was expected to contend for the title. The 21 year old Maradona joined most of the veterans who had won the cup four years earlier in Buenos Aires. However, he was not in top physical condition, and some of his teammates were past their prime. In spite of his effort, Argentina was defeated 2-1 in the second round by eventual champion Italy, in a match in which defender Claudio Gentile ruthlessly marked and repeatedly fouled Maradona under the seemingly blind eye of the referee. Argentina had a chance to save face against archrival Brazil, but Maradona let his frustuations get to him, foolishly punching a Brazilian player and getting himself thrown out of the match. He had shown glimpses of greatness, particularly in a first round 3-1 victory over Hungary. But Maradona was earning a reputation as an underachiever at the highest stage. That all changed in 1984. Maradona moved to Napoli, Italy, for yet another record fee, and it was there that his reputation was restored. His time at Napoli must rank up there with any in the history of football. Before Maradona , Napoli was a small provincial club with very little to show for its endeavours. The year Maradona arrived, they had been saved from relegation by just one point. By his second season, he led them to a third place finish, and in his third season they won their first Scudetto, after 60 years, leaving behind the powerful AC Milan. He also brought to Napoli a UEFA cup and another league title, and was adopted by the city as a favorite son. Against the best defenders in the world, he continued to amaze and dazzle the crowds with his cool moves, precise passes, amazing aceleration, and spectacular goals. He also set up countless chances for his teammates, including his sidekick, Brazilian striker Careca. At Napoli, Maradona was finally able to show at the highest stage the whole repertoire of his game, which fans in Argentina had known since his days as a child prodigy. If there was still any doubt remaining about Maradona 's ability to perform at the highest level, he shattered it with his performance at the Mexico World Cup. In 1986 Maradona was at his zenith and he played briliantly, leading a tactically sound but less than stellar Argentine side to the title.

The game against England in the quarterfinals will never be forgotten by football fans, as it demonstrated the two contrasting sides of Diego Maradona . Early in the second half of a still goalless match, Maradona took the ball and with his usual coolness got past four English players. He passed to Valdano and ran free for the goal. But Valdano's return pass was imprecise, leading to a divided ball with goalkeeper Shilton. Unable to win the ball by legal means, Maradona shocked Shilton and the whole stadium by punching it with his hand and into the goal. The English players were incensed, but the trick was missed by the Tunisian referee and his assistants, and so Argentina was able to break the game open. When asked about the goal later, Maradona replied that it was 'a little bit the head of Maradona , a little bit the hand of god'. Thus, the disputed goal will remain in football lore forever as the 'hand of god' goal. Only a few minutes later, Maradona received the ball in his own half of the field, and once again proceeded to beat defenders, getting past almost the entire English side. This time he ignored Valdano's run in the middle, and he didn't give up the ball until he legally beat Shilton and deposited it in the back of the net. The goal is often described as the most spectacular goal in the history of the world cup. Maradona proceeded to score two more spectacular goals in the semifinal against Belgium. In the final, closely marked by German star Lothar Matthaeus, he was unable to score, but played a role in all three Argentine goals, including a brilliant pass to Burruchaga which led to the winning goal, right after Germany had come back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the match. Maradona 's performance at the 1986 World Cup was one of the most dominant of all time. Perhaps nobody other than Pele has reached the heights at a World Cup tournament which Maradona reached in Mexico 86.

The 1990 World Cup in Italy was something of a letdown, following Maradona 's exploits four years earlier. Although Argentina reached the final, Maradona was clearly out of shape and fighting injuries, and showed very little of his former self. His only high point was an inspiring run and pass to his friend Claudio Cannigia, which helped Argentina get past Brazil. In the semifinal, Maradona lost support as he begged the Neapolitan people (where the game was being held) to support him and Argentina instead of their own nation. They were not convinced, as shown by a large sign which read, 'Diego,we love you but we are Italians'. Italy took an early lead. However, Argentina became the first team to prize open Italy's watertight defense (which coming into the match had not allowed a goal and had hardly allowed any shots on goal). They were able to get an equalizer from Cannigia and eventually win on penalties, including one by Maradona . However, an abysmal final ending in a misleadingly close 1-0 loss to Germany, left Argentina in dissarray and an ineffective Maradona crying in defeat. The following year, Maradona was banned for 15 months after testing positive for Cocaine. Although there had been rumors for years of Diego's drug use, many cynical fans attributed the suspension to a vendetta for his role in eliminating Italy from the World Cup. After serving his suspension, Maradona went back to Spain, to play briefly for Sevilla. He also came back in time to play for Argentina at the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Without Maradona , Argentina had suffered a historic and humiliating 5-0 loss at home to Colombia, a talented squad led by Carlos Valderrama. The national team's qualification for the World Cup was in danger, and although Maradona had hardly played in almost two years, the fans and the media pressured coach Basile to bring him back as the savior. Visibly out of shape, he nevertheless played well enough to help lead Argentina past Australia in a playoff, and into the World Cup. By the time he arrived at the USA for the tournament, Maradona was surprisingly slim and seemingly in top shape, helped by the questionable training methods of Fernando Signorini, his controversial personal trainer. As the tournament began, it appeared that the Maradona of old had returned. He led the team to spectacular victories, 4-0 over Greece and 2-1 over a very tough Nigeria. He scored a spectacular goal against Greece after a superb combination of passes with three teammates, and he set up countless opportunities for his old sidekick Claudio Cannigia and for young striker Gabriel Batistuta to convert. Led by Maradona , Argentina looked poised to make another run at the title. Sadly, after the Nigeria match Maradona tested positive for the banned substance ephedrine, a stimulant which causes weight loss and enhances performance, and he was suspended and disgraced. Without him, Argentina was eliminated in the second round, after a spirited and attractive match against Romania. Led by a great performance by Hagi, the Romanians defeated Argentina 3-2. For Maradona , the 1994 world cup was his last appearance at the game's highest level, and his international career came to a dissapointing end. Unrepentant and with his usual bluntness, a bitter Maradona never admitted wrongdoing, and claimed that FIFA 'has cut off my legs'.
After serving his latest suspension, Maradona continued playing in Argentina, and ended his career with his beloved Boca Juniors. Although adulated by fans, his last three years were bittersweet. Visibly overweight, and with his hair dyed to match the blue and yellow colors of Boca, he played slow and deliberate, a shadow of his former self. He lacked his former movement and acceleration, yet he still had enough left of his talent and guile to impact the game. He still made brilliant passes, he still led his team from midfield, he still scored some brilliant goals, and he still excited the crowds with his unpredictability and with his skill from set pieces. But although the team he led was competitive enough to contend, he was unable to bring to Boca Juniors another title, and he finally retired in 1997, at the age of 37, and over 21 years after his debut.
After his retirement Maradona tried his hand at coaching, without success. He continued to have serious problems controlling his ballooning weight, and with drug addiction. Several times he came close to death. At the present time, and after a detoxification program in Cuba, he claims to be drug-free, and he has lost significant weight. He is back working at Boca Juniors, as director of player personnel.
Almost a decade after his retirement, Maradona continues to be on e of the most recognized players in the world. He was voted by fans as FIFA's player of the 20th century, an award he shared with Pele. He is respected by players and loved by fans from all over the world. He is revered by many, paticularly in his native Argentina and in Napoli. Unfourtunately, because of his blunt style and his penchant for making controversial statements, as well as his well documented personal problems, he has been unable to become the great ambassador for the game which he could potentially be.   In spite of the controversy which sorrounded his career, Maradona will doubtlessly be remembered as one of the most brilliant, most talented, most skillful and most exciting players of all time. For sheer entertainment, few, if any, can rival him. And there will always be experts and common fans who will argue vehemently that Diego Maradona was the best to ever play the game.
the day of his 48th birthday, in a surprising move, Diego Maradona was offered and accepted the position of coach of Argentina's National Team. This creates a new chapter in the amazing story of Diego Armando Maradona .
Good Luck, Diego!

Caps: Argentina 91 (1977-1994) / 34 goals

League Games: Argentina 240 (1976-1982 & 1993-1997) / 151 goals Spain 62 (1982-1984 & 1992-1993) / 27 goals Italy 188 (1984-1991) / 81 goals

International Club Cup Games: European Cups 13 (1982-1991) / 10 goals UEFA-Cup 19 (1986-1990) / 3 goals Supercopa 1 (1997) / 0 goal

South American Footballer of the Year: 1979 (winner), 1980 (winner), 1981 (2nd), 1982 (3rd), 1986 (winner), 1989 (winner), 1990 (winner), 1992 (winner), 1993 (8th), 1995 (2nd)

Argentine Football of the Year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1990

Trophies & Tournaments: World Cup: 1982, 1986 (winner), 1990, 1994 South American Championship: 1987, 1989 UEFA-Cup: 1989 Argentine Champion: 1981 Argentine runner-up: 1980 Spanish Champion: never Spanish runner-up: never Spanish Cup winner: 1983 Spanish Cup runner-up: 1984 Italian Champion: 1987, 1990 Italian runner-up: 1988, 1989 Italian Cup winner: 1987 Italian Cup runner-up: 1989 Top League Goal Scorer: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1988

Season - Club - Games Goals
1976.... Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires.....11 / 02 
1977.... Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires.....49 / 19 
1978.... Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires.....35 / 26 
1979.... Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires.....27 / 26 
1980.... Argentinos Juniors Buenos Aires.....45 / 43 
1981.... Boca Juniors Buenos Aires.............40 / 28
1982.... Boca Juniors Buenos Aires.............00 / 00 
1982/83 FC Barcelona..............................20 / 11 
1983/84 FC Barcelona..............................16 / 11
1984/85 SSC Napoli.................................30 / 14
1985/86 SSC Napoli.................................29 / 11 
1986/87 SSC Napoli.................................29 / 10
1987/88 SSC Napoli.................................28 / 15
1988/89 SSC Napoli.................................26 / 09 
1989/90 SSC Napoli.................................28 / 16 
1990/91 SSC Napoli.................................18 / 06 
1991/92 Suspended.
1992/93 Sevilla FC..................................26 / 05 
1993.... Newell`s Old Boys Rosario.............03 / 00 
1994.... Newell`s Old Boys Rosario.............00 / 00
1994/95 Suspended 
1995.... Boca Juniors Buenos Aires.............11 / 03 
1996.... Boca Juniors Buenos Aires.............13 / 02 
1997.... Boca Juniors Buenos Aires.............06 / 02

Argentina 1976-1982: games and goals totals are merged from 'Metropolitana' and 'Nacional' Leagues. 

International Club Matches

1982/83 FC Barcelona.. EC II..........04 / 05
1983/84 FC Barcelona...EC II..........03 / 03
1986/87 SSC Napoli.......EC II..........02 / 00
1987/88 SSC Napoli.......EC I...........02 / 00
1988/89 SSC Napoli.......EC III.........12 / 03 
1989/90 SSC Napoli.......EC III.........05 / 00 
1990/91 SSC Napoli.......EC-I...........04 / 02

The life of Diego Maradona is already one of our greatest modern morality tales. It has it all. He had unparalleled skill, he achieved super-stardom but was undone by his addictions. He sought redemption.
The only question now is: How does it end?
Diego Maradona Diego is arguably the greatest soccer player who ever lived. His Hand of God goal is probably the most controversial play in soccer history and he has played for more big clubs in big games than just about anyone (ever).
Sometimes its hard to remember that Maradona Diego is only 48, because sometimes it feels like (and looks like) he has lived for centuries.
He was a man among men (even though he was a mere 5'5"), but his life was one that was both celebrated and pitied.
This guy has demons that the rest of us dont have to deal withaddiction is certainly part of his life. For a time, he was addicted to soccer (and cocaine). The white stuff got him suspended from pro soccer for a year during his prime. Another banned substance test got him booted from the 1994
After his playing days were done, he was addicted to food (and still cocaine). In 2005, he got his stomach stapled, he quit the blow, and he stopped overeating (it was either that or explode).
He ended up hosting a talk show, he was Argentinas Rosie ODonnell, and he was heading for that big fade into the past. Irrelevance stalked him.
He started drinking; like I said, he had an addictive personality. In March 2007, he was admitted to a hospital because his alcohol problem was so bad.
Now, he is suddenly a man with an opportunity to right his wrongs. Next month, Maradona Diego will take control of the most talented soccer squad in the world. (Sorry, Spain.)
Argentinas National Team is loaded with talent. With the World Cup in 2010 approaching, Maradona Diego will need to start studying now if he intends to be ready for South Africa. He needs to become addicted to soccer again.
Maradona has coached twice before; both times he was unimpressive, and his teams floundered. The decision to hand him the reins has been rightly questioned by pundits of several nationalities, but in Argentina I dont think they are that worried. Argentina have some of the best attacking players in the world: Messi, Tevez, Lavezzi, and Aguero.

All Maradona Diego needs to do is not mess things up.
The final chapter of this morality tale will be written about either the redemption or ridicule of Diego Maradona .

BEFORE WRITING about Diego Maradona , one has to examine every aspect of his life regardless of whether they were good, bad, or ugly. It cannot be denied that he is one of the greatest football players but there have been better, especially when he admitted that in the Hand of God goal he used his hands, in violation of FIFA rules, to score a goal.
His behaviour towards Pele receiving a FIFA Award with FIFA offering two different awards (one for Pele and one for Maradona Diego ) is an example of an individual with an inflated ego.
Diego Maradona Diego was born in a shanty town called Villa Florito in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1960. Early in life, he was able to show great aptitude with the football. He was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 11 and was signed with a club called Los Cebollitos, which was a junior team of the Argentinos Juniors. He played for other teams such as Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, Newells Old Boys, and Boca Juniors before retiring in 1997.

During his professional career, he scored 311 goals in 590 appearances. He also scored some controversies by charging for interviews, fighting with promoters, and experimenting with cocaine. It was this experimentation with cocaine that tarnished his image in football, at least in my opinion. I can still remember living in Venezuela when I saw the 1978 World Cup of Argentina on cable TV or heard it in shortwave Radio. Diego Maradona at the time did a commercial telling the youths of Latin America and the Latin population in North America to stay away from drugs. Hearing Diego Maradona advising people to stay away from drugs and then doing cocaine made me remove him from my list of favourite football players. Diego Maradona Diego also played for the Argentine national team from 1977 to 1994, where he scored 34 goals in 91 appearances. He was also the manager of the Argentine teams of Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club of Argentina. He played in four World Cups but it was the 1986 World Cup that generated controversy. In one instance, Maradona Diego used his hand to score a goal and told his fellow players: Start congratulating me or the referees will not allow it. He admitted later in a TV interview that the Hand of God helped with the goal, although he later confessed that The Hand of God was a trick. In addition to his drug problem, he once suffered a near heart attack while dancing with the Chilean talk show Cecilia Bollocco. He has also been treated in Cuba for his drug problem and admitted to having a tattoo of Castro and Ernesto Guevara. The only good thing he did was criticising Bush by calling him trash. Another good thing he did was to allow himself to be interviewed by Press TV in which he dedicated one of his shirts to the Iranians.
Aside from that, he disgraced football with his antics, his drug use, and his love of tyrants. Diego Maradona was also the centre of many documentaries and was also one of the founders of the Church of Maradona Diego , which was his version of the transcendental meditation movement (I admit, it was a little comical). Diego Maradona once even fired a rifle into the air against reporters for invading his privacy.
Maradona was also the centre of many musicians successful hits. An Argentine rock group called Los Piojos (The Lice) dedicated two songs to him in their albums. Mano Negra (Black Hand) released a song called Santa Maradona in their album Casa Babylon. The alternative band from Long Island called Brand New released a song with the title: Me Vs Maradona Vs Elvis on their 2003 album Deja Entendu. Another group Manu Chao dedicated La Vida Tombola from their album La Radiolina to Maradona . Los Cafres dedicated a song to Maradona called Capitan Pelusa (Captain Fuzz). Maradona received many awards, which should have been returned to FIFA such as the 1986 United Press International Athlete of the Year, the 1986 Olimpia de Oro, the 1986 FIFA World Cup Silver Boot and the 1986 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball for his hand goal and any awards received after 1986. The awards that Maradona received by his own merit have been the 1979 and 1980 South American Footballer of the Year, the 1979 75th FIFA Anniversary Cup and the 1979 Olympia de Oro, as well as other awards too numerous to mention before 1986.
Maradona lived a controversial lifestyle and was a football player. Maradona also was an individual who may have had his last laugh in life but I would not want to be in his position the day he goes before God or any superior deity and has to explain what he did with his life. The trophies and other accolades will be worthless when he has to explain himself. But again I cannot be the judge. All I wanted to do was write a biography that included all the spheres of this most talked about personality who could have done great things for football, could have had a family but threw everything away because of his attitude and behaviour.
I have heard from so many different sources talking about the 1986 game and (the hand of god) comment made by Maradona . Diego didnt admit to scoring an illegal goal, he admitted that there could have been a penalty for handball but the referee didnt call it. Do you watch American football, and basketball? Im sure you do. What I want to say is that there has been and always will be penalties by the players and mistakes from the referees in every sport game. You can criticize an athlete for their mistakes but you cannot take away their lifetime achievement from them because of one mistake. Remember, that he was and always be one of the greatest football (soccer) players in the world! There were many people who didnt want to see Maradona to succeed and many of them were pretending to be his friends just to get to him. I know that we all have a choice to do or not to do something that would have an impact of either good or bad on our life. However, I truly believe that Maradona was victim of deceive and betrayal of his so called close friends. Even the greatest people make mistakes in their lives. Maradona was just one great person who happened to make a mistake in his personal life. What makes him even the greatest is that he made it right and bounced back from addiction. We need to remember that we are all human and no one is perfect!! Not even the greatest!

soccer argentino Diego Maradona
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