Diego Maradona, whose full name was Diego Armando Maradona, was born on 30 October 1960, in Lanus, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He died on 25 November 2020 in Tigre, Buenos Aires. This Argentine football player is generally regarded as the top footballer of the 1980s as well as one of the best soccer players of all time. Renowned for his ability to control the soccer ball and establish scoring opportunities for himself and others, Maradona captained club teams to championships in Argentina, Italy and Spain. He starred on the Argentine national team which won the 1986 World Cup.
His Early Career
Maradona showed football talent at an early age and when he was 8 he joined Las Cebollitas (which is translated as “The Little Onions”), a boys’ team that went on to win 136 successive games and a national championship. Then Maradona signed with Argentinos Juniors when he was 14 and made his first-division debut in 1976, 10 days prior to his 16th birthday.
Only four months later he made his debut with the national team, so becoming the youngest Argentine ever to do so. Even though he was excluded from the 1978 World Cup-winning squad because it was felt that he was still far too young, the next year he led the national under-20 team to a Junior World Cup championship.
Adoration Of Football
To be the best at anything, you really do need to love it, and Maradona adored soccer. There’s no better way to see this than by watching his legendary warm-up sequence from 1989. As everyone else was dead-serious about preparing for the UEFA Cup semi-finals, Diego was smiling and demonstrating his skills to the rhythm of “Live is Life.”
World Record Transfer
After five years with Argentinos Juniors and a further season with Boca Juniors, with whom he won his sole Argentine title in 1982, it was inescapable that the European big guns would come calling for Diego.
Barcelona won the race however only after agreeing to pay a world-record £3million fee – which was almost double the previous record set in 1978 by Paolo Rossi’s transfer from Juventus to Vicenza. After two seasons in Spain, Barca believed it was best to give Maradona the opportunity to go to Italy, all the while making a handsome profit on their record buy.
Snubbing Real Madrid
Even though Barcelona never saw Maradona’s phenomenal talent on a regular basis, the flashes he offered were sufficient for Spanish supporters to understand that they were in the presence of genius.
Barca’s greatest rivals Real Madrid also wanted Maradona when he was looking to make the switch to Europe. For them, signing the soccer great would be like claiming the most generous online casino sign up bonus. Even though he had already signed a pre-contract agreement with the Catalans, there was still work to be done on a deal. In the end, they got their man through paying more than Real were willing or able to.
Choosing Barcelona over Real Madrid did not prevent Maradona from becoming the first Barca player to earn the appreciation of the Bernabeu crowd in 1983. He did this on his way to assisting the Catalan club with winning the Copa del Rey.