Diego Maradona : biography
Diego Armando Maradona ( born 30 October 1960) is an Argentine football coach as well as a manager and former player. Many experts, football critics, former players, current players and football fans consider Maradona to be the greatest football player of all time.. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.com (19 June 2009). Retrieved 31 March 2013. The Football Pantheon, 20 September 2011. goal.com, 23 October 2010Other opinions about Maradona as the greatest player can be found at: . goal.com, 29 July 2012. SoccerAnchor, 7 September 2011. The Times of India, 12 November 2008 Paolo Maldini fan page, 21 July 2008 SoccerBlog, 25 March 2006. SoccerBible, 22 July 2010.. tribalfootball, 11 October 2011.. fifa.com, 7 November 2008. ESPN soccernet, 18 April 2005.. Mirro Football, 20 November 2011.. Daily Record, 30 October 2008.. Daily Record, 30 October 2008. Central Telegraph, 11 April 2012. The Sun, 29 April 2011.. FIFA.com He was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pelé.. touri.com. CNN Sports Illustrated, 10 December 2000. Retrieved 13 March 2013
He is the only footballer to set world-record contract fees twice, firstly when transferring to Barcelona for a then world record £5m, and secondly, when transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9m. During his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys. At club level, he is most famous for his career in Napoli where he won numerous accolades. 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 tournament, 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 quarterfinal round, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two different reasons. The first goal was via an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal followed a dribble past five England players, voted "The Goal of the Century" by FIFA.com voters in 2002.. FIFA (30 May 2002). Retrieved 13 March 2013
Maradona is considered one of the sport’s most controversial and newsworthy figures. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA after testing positive for ephedrine. In 2005, he lost a considerable amount of extra weight and overcame his cocaine addiction. His outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sport executives. Although he had little managerial experience, he became head coach of the Argentina national team in November 2008, and held the job for eighteen months, until his contract expired after the 2010 World Cup.
In popular culture
The American newspaper The Houston Chronicle wrote about Maradona:
In Argentina, Maradona is considered a sports hero to many. He is idolized, receiving the name of "God". About this idolatry that exists in Argentina over Maradona, his former teammate Jorge Valdano said: "At the time that Maradona retired from active football, left traumatized Argentina. Maradona was more than just a great footballer. It was a special compensation factor for a country that in a few years lived several military dictatorships and social frustrations of all kinds". Valdano added that "Maradona offered to the Argentines way out of their collective frustration, and that’s why people love him. There is a divine figure."
Ever since 1986, it is common for Argentines abroad to hear Maradona’s name as a token of recognition, even in remote places. The Tartan Army sing a version of the Hokey Cokey in honour of the Hand of God goal against England.Shields, Tom (9 April 2006). , Sunday Herald. In Argentina, Maradona is often talked about in terms reserved for legends. In the Argentine film El Hijo de la Novia ("Son of the Bride"), somebody who impersonates a Catholic priest says to a bar patron: "they idolized him and then crucified him". When a friend scolds him for taking the prank too far, the fake priest retorts: "But I was talking about Maradona". He’s the subject of the film El Camino de San Diego, though he himself only appears in archive footage.