Diego Maradona is probably the best soccer player of all time. He was cataloged by some media as the best player in the history of the World Cup and chosen by FIFA as the best player of the 20th century. He played in some of the best teams in the world, although his greatest feats were achieved with less recognized clubs like Napoli and with the national team (Argentin).
The Argentine is also well remembered for his strong, temperamental and charismatic personality, and for his troubled life with drugs outside of football. He was suspended twice for doping and was involved in various legal problems for most of his career. Even his recent death (2020) has generated many controversies until today.
Maradona’s debut as a professional soccer player occurred on October 20, 1976, at the age of 15, in a National Championship match against Talleres.The following month, more precisely on November 14, at the age of 16, he scored his first goals in a match against San Lorenzo.
Although ‘El Pelusa‘ had already received offers to play for other clubs, including América de Cali, it was in 1981 that he decided to leave Argentinos Juniors due to his constant fights with the board. The most important offer had been made by River Plate, but finally he was loaned for a year and a half to Boca Juniors, a club that was going through a bad economic situation and was not in a position to buy his pass.
After playing his first World Cup which was a failure, his sale to Barcelona was made official. The Catalan club paid 1,200 million pesetas for his pass. Together they won the Copa del Rey and the League Cup in 1983; in both finals they beat Real Madrid with goals from Maradona.
After a heavy sanction in Barcelona of 3 months without playing, he is sent to Naples. His Serie A debut came on September 16 against Verona, in a loss (3-1). That season, which was not entirely good for the Neapolitans, although Diego scored 14 goals.
The following campaign, Napoli had a better performance, but not Maradona, who only scored 11 goals. The Argentine went with his national team to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where his history was divided into two, that of Argentina, that of Napoli and that of football in general.
In his second World Cup, Diego Armando Maradona was managed by Carlos Salvador Bilardo, who replaced Menotti after the failure in Spain 82. The game, played on June 22 against England at the Azteca Stadium, featured two of the most memorable goals in World Cup history, popularly known as the “Goal of the Century” and the “Hand of God.” Both achieved by the ‘Pibe de Oro’.
Already in the semifinals, ‘La Albiceleste’ prevailed over Belgium (2-0) with another double by Diego. They qualified for the final, which was played again at the Azteca, against Federal Germany on June 29. Although Maradona did not score that day, he ended up lifting the World Cup thanks to his country’s victory (3-2). Diego Maradona established himself in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, converting 5 goals and giving 5 assists in the 7 games he played.
Santiago de la Peña