Diego Armando Maradona is an Argentine former soccer player and coach. He is Considered one of the best in soccer history.
Maradona was born in Lanus, Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 30, 1960. He began playing soccer at age nine in a youth team of Los Cebollitas. His father, Don Diego, ran a small court in the neighborhood and led the Red Star team. He signed for Argentinos Juniors, and debuted in his first division in 1976, ten days before his sixteenth birthday. He followed the team until 1980. Although they did not obtain any championships, he was the top scorer of the Argentine tournaments in 1978, 1979 and 1980. In 1979 he was part of the youth team that won the world championship.
In 1981 he joined Boca Juniors, with whom he won the league that year. In 1982 FC Barcelona signed him for 1,200 million pesetas (7.2 million euros), an astronomical amount for the time. They won the League Cup, the Copa del Rey (both in 1983) and Supercopa of Spain (1984). In 1984, he moved to Naples. The Italian team returned to pay a large amount for it. With this team he won the league in 1987 and 1990, the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the 1991 Italian Super Cup.
It was in Naples in 1991, when a drug test detected cocaine, which suspended him for fifteen months. Shortly after he was arrested in Buenos Aires. On April 28, 1992 he was released and had to face a charge of drug possession and supply. His international career ended in Seville, where he failed to complete the season 1992-1993. When he returned to Argentina, he joined the club Newell’s Old Boys (1993-1994). After serving the suspension imposed by FIFA in 1994, he returned to sign for Boca Juniors in 1995. In October 1997 he announced his retirement again after failing a drug test.
With Argentina at senior level, he participated in four world championships: in Spain (1982), Mexico (1986), Italy (1990) and United States (1994). He won the world championship played in Mexico (1986) and runner-up in Italy (1990). In the world series of the United States (1994) he was suspended for doping after two games.
In the quarterfinals, four years after the Falklands War, British and Argentineans faced in a game of maximum rivalry, which gave victory to the Argentinians by 2 to 1, with two goals from Maradona. The first of these should have been canceled since Maradona got the ball with the fist contesting the British goalkeeper. Asked if he had scored with his hand, he said it had been the ‘hand of God’, and with that the name passed into history.
After retiring, he served as coach, manager of Boca Juniors, sports commentator and television presenter. Despite scandals and controversies he continued being idolized in his country. The song composed by Fito Paez, ‘Give joy to my heart,’ and the tango ‘Mago Diego’ Enrique Bugatti, are some of the tributes that his compatriots dedicated to him.
In 2008 he was appointed coach of the Argentina national team. The team did not pass the quarterfinals in the 2010 World Cup.
Wanting to pass on his knowledge, he went to the United Arab Emirates. He landed in Dubai to coach Al Wasl FC with a two-year contract. To honor him, they suppressed the number 10 of the club. His new team debut in a friendly game against Kalba, which he won 3 to 1. In December 2011 the Football Federation of the UAE sanctioned him with three game suspension and $2,700 fine for a fight with the coach of Al Ain. Moreover, he was nominated to be the coach of the national team of United Arab Emirates for the World Cup in Brazil 2014. In March 2012 he secured his intention to renew as coach of Al Wasl and expanded his functions to be plenipotentiary manager. However, half a year later he was fired for poor performance.
After finishing his work as a coach, he began working as a sports ambassador of the United Arab Emirates. In 2014, he would have a journalistic role by signing a contract with Telesur, co-presenting with Uruguayan Victor Hugo Morales’ ‘left foot’ program. In it he analyzed the soccer days of the World Cup. The program was recognized by the National University of La Plata with the Rodolfo Walsh Prize.
-He is nicknamed El Pelusa of Villa Fiorito, a place where he spent his childhood.
-He never finished the first year of high school to spend more hours on the court with the ball than with books.
-During his Italian period he married Claudia Villafane, with whom he had two daughters, Dalma and Giannina.
-Hepatitis and injury hurt his performance in the early eighties.
-In February 2003 his son Diego was born
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