Overview of life
Diego Armando Maradona (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo maɾaˈðona], born 30 October 1960) is an Argentine retired professional footballer. He has served as a manager and coach at other clubs as well as the national team of Argentina. Many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, regard Maradona as the greatest football player of all time. He was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pelé.
An advanced playmaker who operated in the classic number 10 position, Maradona is the first player in football history to set the world record transfer fee twice, first when he transferred to Barcelona for a then world record £5 million, and second, when he transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9 million. He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys during his club career, and is most famous for his time at Napoli, where he won numerous accolades. In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.
Maradona’s vision, passing, ball control, dribbling skills, speed, reflexes and reaction time was combined with his small size (1.65 m or 5 ft 5 in tall) giving him a low center of gravity which allowed him to be more maneuverable than most other football players; he would often dribble past multiple opposing players on a run. His presence on the pitch had a great effect on his team’s general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Boy”), a name that stuck with him throughout his career.
Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. In the 1986 World Cup quarter final, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history for two different reasons. The first goal was an unpenalized handling foul known as the “Hand of God”, while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble past five England players, voted “The Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002.
Maradona became coach of Argentina in November 2008. He was in charge of the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before leaving at the end of the tournament. He coached Dubai-based club Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League for the 2011–12 season. In August 2013, Maradona joined Argentine Primera D club Deportivo Riestra’s staff as “spiritual coach”.
Diego Armando Maradona was born on 30 October 1960, at the Policlínico (Polyclinic) Evita Hospital in Lanús, Buenos Aires Province, but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province. He was the first son after three daughters. He has two younger brothers, Hugo (el Turco) and Raúl (Lalo), both of whom were also professional football players. He was the fifth child and first son of Diego Maradona “Chitoro” (d. 2015) and Dalma Salvadora Franco ‘Doña Tota’ (1930–2011). 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 1950, 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. He became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires’s Argentinos Juniors. As a 12-year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games. He named Brazilian playmaker Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up.
Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors
Maradona celebrating his first goal with Boca Juniors, February 1981
On 20 October 1976, Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors, 10 days before his 16th birthday. He entered to the pitch wearing the number 16 jersey, and after the game stated, “That day I felt I had held the sky in my hands.” Maradona scored his first goal in the Primera División against Marplatense team San Lorenzo on 14 November 1976, two weeks after turning 16. Maradona spent five years at Argentinos Juniors, from 1976 to 1981, scoring 115 goals in 167 appearances before his US$ 4 million transfer to Boca Juniors. Maradona received offers to join other clubs, including River Plate who offered to make him the club’s best paid player. Nevertheless, Maradona expressed his will to be transferred to Boca Juniors, the team he always wanted to play for.
Maradona signed a contract with Boca Juniors on 20 February 1981. He made his debut two days later against Talleres de Córdoba, scoring twice in the club’s 4–1 win. On 10 April, Maradona played his first Superclásico against River Plate at La Bombonera. Boca defeated River 3–0 with Maradona scoring a goal after dribbling past Alberto Tarantini and Fillol. Despite the distrustful relationship between Maradona and Boca Juniors manager, Silvio Marzolini, Boca had a successful season, winning the league title after securing a point against Racing Club. That would be the only title won by Maradona in the Argentine domestic league.
“He had complete mastery of the ball. 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: the rest of the team were so amazed that they just stood and watched him. We all thought ourselves privileged to be witnesses of his genius.”
—Barcelona teammate Lobo Carrasco.
After the 1982 World Cup, in June, Maradona was transferred to Barcelona in Spain for a then world record fee of £5 million ($7.6 million). In 1983, under coach César Luis Menotti, Barcelona and Maradona won the Copa del Rey (Spain’s annual national cup competition), beating Real Madrid, and the Spanish Super Cup, beating Athletic Bilbao. On 26 June 1983, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid on the road in one of the world’s biggest club games, El Clásico, a match where Maradona scored and became the first Barcelona player to be applauded by archrival Real Madrid fans. Maradona dribbled past Madrid goalkeeper Agustín, and as he approached the empty goal, he stopped just as Madrid defender Juan José came sliding in a desperate attempt to block the shot and ended up crashing into the post, before Maradona slotted the ball into the net. The manner of the goal led to many inside the stadium start applauding; only Ronaldinho (in November 2005) and Andrés Iniesta (in November 2015) have since been granted such an ovation as Barcelona players from Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. Due to illness and injury as well as controversial incidents on the field, Maradona had a difficult tenure in Barcelona. First a bout of hepatitis, then a broken ankle in a La Liga game at the Camp Nou in September 1983 caused by an ill-timed tackle by Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Goikoetxea, threatened to jeopardize Maradona’s career, but after treatment and therapy, it was possible for him to be back on the pitch after a recovery period of three months.
Athletic Bilbao defender Andoni Goikoetxea was involved in two controversial incidents with Maradona.
The end of the 1983–84 season included a violent and chaotic fight Maradona was directly involved in at the 1984 Copa del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabéu against Athletic Bilbao. After receiving another rough tackle by Goikoetxea which wounded his leg, being taunted with xenophobic insults throughout the match by Bilbao fans, and being provoked by Bilbao’s Miguel Sola at full time as Barcelona lost 1–0, Maradona snapped. He aggressively got up, stood inches from Sola’s face and the two exchanged words. 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. Maradona then headbutted Sola, elbowed another Bilbao player in the face and kneed another player in the head, knocking him out cold. The Bilbao squad surrounded Maradona to exact some retribution with Goikoetxea connecting with a high kick to his chest, before the rest of the Barcelona squad joined in to help Maradona. From this point, on the Barcelona and Bilbao players brawled on the field with Maradona in the centre of the action, kicking and punching anyone in a Bilbao shirt.
The mass brawl was played out in front of the Spanish King Juan Carlos and an audience of 100,000 fans inside the stadium, and more than half of Spain watching on television. Sixty people were injured, with the incident effectively sealing Maradona’s transfer out of the club in what was his last game in a Barcelona shirt. One Barcelona executive stated, “When I saw those scenes of Maradona fighting and the chaos that followed I realized we couldn’t go any further with him.” Maradona got into frequent disputes with FC Barcelona executives, particularly club president Josep Lluís Núñez, culminating with a demand to be transferred out of Camp Nou in 1984. During his two injury-hit seasons at Barcelona, Maradona scored 38 goals in 58 games. Maradona transferred to Napoli in Italy’s Serie A for another world record fee, £6.9 million ($10.48M).
Diego Maradona with Napoli in 1985. 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 1984, where he was welcomed by 75,000 fans at his presentation at the Stadio San Paolo. Sports writer David Goldblatt commented, “They [the fans] were convinced that the saviour had arrived.” A local newspaper stated that despite the lack of a “mayor, houses, schools, buses, employment and sanitation, none of this matters because we have Maradona”. Prior to Maradona’s arrival, Italian football was dominated by teams from the north and centre of the country, such as Milan, Juventus, Internazionale and Roma, and no team in the south of the Italian Peninsula had ever won a league title.
At Napoli, Maradona reached the peak of his professional career: he soon inherited the captain’s armband from Napoli veteran defender Giuseppe Bruscolotti and quickly became an adored star among the club’s fans; in his time there he elevated the team to the most successful era in its history. Maradona played for Napoli at a period when North-South tensions in Italy were at a peak due to a variety of issues, notably the economic differences between the two. Led by Maradona, Napoli won their first ever Serie A Italian Championship in 1986–87. Goldblatt wrote, “The celebrations were tumultuous. 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 1987, the other Italy has been defeated. A new empire is born.'” Murals of Maradona were painted on the city’s ancient buildings, and newborn children were named in his honor. The following season, the team’s prolific attacking trio, formed by Maradona, Bruno Giordano and Careca, was later dubbed the “Ma-Gi-Ca” (magic) front-line.
Maradona and Michel Platini during a 1986–87 Serie A season match between Napoli and Juventus
Napoli would win their second league title in 1989–90, and finish runners up in the league twice, in 1987–88 and 1988–89. Other honors during the Maradona era at Napoli included the Coppa Italia in 1987, (second place in the Coppa Italia in 1989), the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Italian Supercup in 1990. Despite primarily playing in a creative role as an attacking midfielder, Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987–88, with 15 goals, and is the all-time leading goalscorer for Napoli, with 115 goals. When asked who was the toughest player he ever faced, 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.”
While Maradona was successful on the field, during his time in Italy his personal problems increased. His cocaine use continued, and he received US $70,000 in fines from his club for missing games and practices, ostensibly because of “stress”. He faced a scandal there regarding an illegitimate son, and he was also the object of some suspicion over an alleged friendship with the Camorra. Later on, in honour of Maradona and his achievements during his career at Napoli, the number 10 jersey of Napoli was officially retired.
Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors
After serving a 15-month ban for failing a drug test for cocaine, Maradona left Napoli in disgrace in 1992. Despite interest from Real Madrid and Marseille, he signed for Sevilla, where he stayed for one year. In 1993, he played for Newell’s Old Boys and in 1995 returned to Boca Juniors for a two-year stint. Maradona also appeared for Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly match against Internazionale, shortly before the 1986 World Cup. The match was a testimonial for Osvaldo Ardiles, who insisted that his friend Maradona play.
Maradona playing the Soviet Union at the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship final
During his time with the Argentina national team, Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances. He made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, on 27 February 1977. Maradona was left off the Argentine squad for the 1978 World Cup on home soil by coach César Luis Menotti who felt he was too young at age 17. At age 18, Maradona played the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan and emerged as the star of the tournament, shining in Argentina’s 3–1 final win over the Soviet Union. On 2 June 1979, Maradona scored his first senior international goal in a 3–1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Maradona and his compatriot and heir apparent, Lionel Messi, are the only players to win the Golden Ball at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup. Maradona did so in 1979 and 1986, which Messi emulated in 2005 and 2014.
1982 World Cup
Maradona played his first World Cup tournament in 1982 in his new country of residence, Spain. Argentina played Belgium in the opening game of the 1982 Cup at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. 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. In a team that also included such players as Mario Kempes, Osvaldo Ardiles, Ramón Díaz, Daniel Bertoni, Alberto Tarantini, Ubaldo Fillol and Daniel Passarella, the Argentine side was defeated in the second round by Brazil and by eventual winners Italy. The Italian match is renowned for Maradona being aggressively man-marked by Claudio Gentile, as Italy beat Argentina at the Sarrià Stadium in Barcelona, 2–1.
Maradona played in all five matches without being substituted, scoring twice against Hungary. He was fouled repeatedly in all five games and particularly in the last one against Brazil at the Sarrià, a game that was blighted by poor officiating and violent fouls. 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.
1986 World Cup
Diego Maradona holding the 1986 World Cup trophy
Maradona captained the Argentine national team to victory in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, winning the final in Mexico City against West Germany. Throughout the tournament, Maradona asserted his dominance and was the most dynamic player of the tournament. 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 Stadium. His first goal of the tournament came against Italy in the second group game in Puebla. Argentina eliminated Uruguay in the first knockout round in Puebla, setting up a match against England at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. 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”. This match was played with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom. 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”. yIt became known as the “Hand of God”. Ultimately, on 22 August 2005, 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.
“Maradona, turns like a little eel and comes away from trouble, little squat man… comes inside Butcher and leaves him for dead, outside Fenwick and leaves him for dead, and puts the ball away… and that is why Maradona is the greatest player in the world.”
—Bryon Butler BBC Radio commentary on Maradona’s second goal.
Maradona’s second goal, just four minutes after the hotly disputed hand-goal, was later voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup. 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. This goal was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA.
Maradona scoring the “Goal of the Century” against England in México 1986
Maradona followed this with two more goals in a semi-final match against Belgium at the Azteca, including another virtuoso dribbling display for the second goal. In the final match, West Germany attempted to contain him by double-marking, but he nevertheless found the space past the West German player Lothar Matthäus to give the final pass to Jorge Burruchaga for the winning goal. Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in front of 115,000 fans at the Azteca.
During the course of the tournament, Maradona attempted or created more than half of Argentina’s shots, embarked on 90 dribbles some three times more than any other player and was fouled 53 times, winning his team twice as many free kicks as any player.Maradona scored or assisted 10 of Argentina’s 14 goals, including the assist for the winning goal in the final, ensuring that he would be remembered as one of the greatest names in football history. By the end of the World Cup, Maradona went on to win the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament by unanimous vote and was widely regarded to have won the World Cup virtually single-handedly, something that he did not entirely agree with. In a tribute to him, Azteca Stadium authorities built a statue of him scoring the “Goal of the Century” and placed it at the entrance of the stadium.
1990 World Cup
Maradona captained Argentina again in the 1990 World Cup in Italy to yet another World Cup final. 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.
In the quarter-final, Argentina faced Yugoslavia in Florence; the match ending 0–0 after 120 minutes, and Argentina advancing on penalty kicks, despite Maradona missing one of the penalties in the shootout with a weak shot to the goalkeeper’s right. 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. At the final in Rome, Argentina lost 1–0 to West Germany, the only goal being a penalty by Andreas Brehme in the 85th minute after a controversial foul on Rudi Völler.
1994 World Cup
At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Maradona played in only two games (both at the Foxboro Stadium near Boston), scoring one goal against Greece, before being sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping. In his autobiography, Maradona argued that the test result was due to his personal trainer giving him the power drink Rip Fuel. His claim was that the U.S. version, unlike the Argentine one, contained the chemical and that, having run out of his Argentine dosage, his trainer unwittingly bought the U.S. formula. FIFA expelled him from USA ’94 and Argentina were subsequently eliminated in the second round by Romania in Los Angeles. 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. His failed drugs test at the 1994 World Cup signaled the end of his international career, which had lasted 17 years and yielded 34 goals from 91 games.
A classic number 10, Maradona was renowned for his dribbling ability, vision, close ball control, passing and creativity, and is considered one of the most skillful players ever. He had a compact physique, and with his strong legs and low center of gravity he could withstand physical pressure well while running with the ball. Dutch legend Johan Cruyff saw similarities between Maradona and Lionel Messi with the ball seemingly attached to their body when dribbling. His physical strengths were illustrated by his two goals against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup. 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 1986-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 1986, 1990 and 1994.
One of Maradona’s trademark moves was dribbling full-speed on the right wing, and on reaching the opponent’s goal line, delivering accurate passes to his teammates. Another trademark was the rabona, a reverse-cross pass shot behind the leg that holds all the weight. This maneuver led to several assists, such as the powerful cross for Ramón Díaz’s header in the 1980 friendly against Switzerland. He was also a dangerous free kick and penalty kick taker.
Maradona was famous for his cunning personality. Inherent within his nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (“Golden Boy”) is a sense of mischief, with “pibe” being an anti-establishment rogue, street smart and full of guile. Some critics view his controversial “Hand of God” goal at the 1986 World Cup as a clever maneuver, with one of the opposition players, Glenn Hoddle, admitting that Maradona had disguised it cunningly in flicking his head at the same time as palming the ball. The goal itself has been viewed as an embodiment of the Buenos Aires shanty town Maradona was brought up in and its concept of viveza criolla — “native cunning”. Maradona used his hand in the 1990 World Cup, again without punishment, and this time on his own goal line, to prevent the Soviet Union from scoring. A number of publications have referred to Maradona as the Artful Dodger, the urchin pickpocket expert from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Maradona was dominantly left-footed, often using his left foot even when the ball was positioned more suitably for a right-footed connection. His first goal against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup semi-final is a worthy indicator of such; he had run into the inside right channel to receive a pass but let the ball travel across to his left foot, requiring more technical ability. 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 1990 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.
Hounded for years by the press, Maradona once fired a compressed-air rifle at reporters who he claimed were invading his privacy. 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.
In 1990, the Konex Foundation from Argentina granted him the Diamond Konex Award, one of the most prestigious culture awards in Argentina, as the most important personality in Sports in the last decade in his country. In 2000, Maradona published his autobiography Yo Soy El Diego (“I am The Diego”), which became a bestseller in his home country. Two years later, Maradona donated the Cuban royalties of his book to “the Cuban people and Fidel”.
Maradona at the Soccer Aid charity game at Old Trafford in May 2006, after losing weight
In 2000, he won FIFA Player of the Century award which was to be decided by votes on their official website, their official magazine and a grand jury. Maradona won the Internet-based poll, garnering 53.6% of the votes against 18.53% for Pelé. In spite of this, and shortly before the ceremony, FIFA added a second award and appointed a “Football Family” committee composed of football journalists that also gave to Pelé the title of best player of the century to make it a draw. Maradona also came fifth in the vote of the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics). In 2001, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) asked FIFA for authorization to retire the jersey number 10 for Maradona. FIFA did not grant the request, even though Argentine officials have maintained that FIFA hinted that it would.
Maradona has topped a number of fan polls, including a 2002 FIFA poll in which his second goal against England was chosen as the best goal ever scored in a World Cup; he also won the most votes in a poll to determine the All-Time Ultimate World Cup Team. On 22 March 2010, Maradona was chosen number 1 in The Greatest 10 World Cup players of all time by the London-based newspaper The Times. Argentinos Juniors named its stadium after Maradona on 26 December 2003. In 2003, Maradona was employed by the Libyan footballer Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the third son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, as a “technical consultant”, while Al-Saadi was playing for the Italian club, Perugia, which was playing in Serie A at the time.
Maradona in Kolkata, India, in December 2008. Maradona laid the foundation stone for a football academy in the eastern suburbs of the city, and was greeted by over 100,000 fans in Salt Lake Stadium.
On 22 June 2005, it was announced that Maradona would return to former club Boca Juniors as a sports vice president in charge of managing the First Division roster (after a disappointing 2004–05 season, which coincided with Boca’s centenary). His contract began 1 August 2005, and one of his first recommendations proved to be very effective: advising the club to hire Alfio Basile as the new coach. With Maradona fostering a close relationship with the players, Boca won the 2005 Apertura, the 2006 Clausura, the 2005 Copa Sudamericana and the 2005 Recopa Sudamericana.
On 15 August 2005, Maradona made his debut as host of a talk-variety show on Argentine television, La Noche del 10 (“The Night of the no. 10”). His main guest on opening night was Pelé; the two had a friendly chat, showing no signs of past differences. However, the show also included a cartoon villain with a clear physical resemblance to Pelé. In subsequent evenings, he led the ratings on all occasions but one. Most guests were drawn from the worlds of football and show business, including Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, but also included interviews with other notable friends and personalities such as Cuban leader Fidel Castro and boxers Roberto Durán and Mike Tyson. Maradona gave each of his guests a signed Argentina jersey, which Tyson wore when he arrived in Brazil, Argentina’s biggest rivals.
In May 2006, Maradona agreed to take part in UK’s Soccer Aid (a program to raise money for Unicef). In September 2006, Maradona, in his famous blue and white number 10, was the captain for Argentina in a three-day World Cup of Indoor Football tournament in Spain. On 26 August 2006, 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. In 2008, award-winning Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica made a documentary about Maradona’s life, entitled Maradona.
On 1 September 2014, Maradona, along with many current and former footballing stars, took part in the “Match for Peace”, which was played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with the proceeds being donated entirely to charity. Maradona set up a goal for Roberto Baggio during the first half of the match, with a chipped through-ball over the defence with the outside of his left foot. Unusually, both Baggio and Maradona wore the number 10 shirt, despite playing on the same team. On 17 August 2015, Maradona visited Ali Bin Nasser, the Tunisian referee of the Argentina–England quarter-final match at the 1986 World Cup where Maradona scored his Hand of God, and paid tribute to him by giving him a signed Argentine jersey.
Career Statistics & Honors
|1976||Argentinos Juniors||Primera División||11||2||0||0||–||–||13||2|
|1981||Boca Juniors||Primera División||40||28||0||0||–||–||40||28|
|1993–94||Newell’s Old Boys||Primera División||5||0||–||–||–||5||0|
- Other – League Cup (Spain) and Super Cup (Italy)
- His overall average of goals scored per match in domestic club competitions is 0.526.
- Started in 21 consecutive matches for Argentina in four World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994)
- Appeared 16 times as captain of the national team, a World Cup-record.
- Scored 8 goals and provided 8 assists in 21 World Cup appearances, including 5 goals and 5 assists in 1986
- Tied for highest goal-scorer from Argentina in World Cup finals (equaled Guillermo Stábile’s mark in 1994; surpassed by Gabriel Batistuta in 1998)
- Was fouled 23 times in the match Argentina v Italy in the 1982 World Cup, a single-match World Cup-record;
- Was fouled 50 times during 1990 World Cup, a single-tournament World-Cup record.
|Argentina national team|
|Mandiyú de Corrientes||January 1994||June 1994||12||1||5||6||8.33|
|Racing Club||May 1995||November 1995||11||2||3||6||18.18|
|Argentina||November 2008||July 2010||19||14||0||5||73.68|
|Al Wasl FC||May 2011||July 2012||22||7||5||10||31.82|
- Argentine Primera División: 1981 Metropolitano
- Copa del Rey: 1983
- Copa de la Liga: 1983
- Supercopa de España: 1983
- Serie A: 1986–87, 1989–90
- Coppa Italia: 1986–87
- UEFA Cup: 1988–89
- Supercoppa Italiana: 1990
- FIFA World Youth Championship: 1979
- 75th anniversary FIFA Cup: 1979
- FIFA World Cup: 1986; Runner-up 1990
- Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1993
- Argentine Primera División top scorers (5): 1978 Metropolitano, 1979 Metropolitano, 1979 Nacional, 1980 Metropolitano, 1980 Nacional
- FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
- FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
- World Player of the Year (Guerin Sportivo): 1979
- Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year (4): 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
- South American Footballer of the Year (2): (official award) 1979, 1980
- Olimpia de Oro (2): 1979, 1986
- Guerin d’Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1985
- Onze de Bronze (2): 1985, 1988
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
- FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
- FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2): 1986, 1990
- Onze d’Or (2): 1986, 1987
- Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Year: 1986
- L’Équipe Champion of Champions: 1986
- United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
- World Soccer Awards Player of the Year: 1986
- South American Player of the Year (4): (unofficial award) 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992
- Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
- Coppa Italia top scorer: 1987–88
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
- Onze d’Or (top player of the year for the Onze Mondial French newspaper): 1994
- FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
- South American Team of the Year: 1995
- Ballon d’Or for services to football (France Football): 1996
- World Team of the 20th Century: 1998
- World Soccer The Greatest Players of the 20th century: (#2) 1999
- Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century: 1999
- Marca Leyenda: 1999
- Number 10 retired by Napoli football team as a recognition to his contribution to the club: 2000
- FIFA Player of the Century: 2000
- FIFA Goal of the Century (for his second goal against England in 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final): 2002
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
- Golden Foot: 2003, as football legend
- FIFA 100 Greatest Living Footballers: 2004
- Argentine Senate “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento” recognition for lifetime achievement: 2005
- Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award: 2012
- World Soccer Greatest XI of all time: 2013
- Napoli all-time Top Scorer
- Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2014
- L’Équipe’s top 50 South-American footballers in history: #2