The greatest footballer of all time is no more. Diego Armando Maradona passed away on Wednesday. The Argentinian died of cardiac arrest. He turned 60 years old.
Maradona is the textbook example of a poor boy who became a world star through football. He grew up in a poor family in Villa Fiorito, a slum south of Buenos Aires. At the age of ten, Diego Maradona was discovered playing football with Estrella Roja, a club close to him. He was included in the youth academy of Argentinos Juniors. Via Boca he went to Europe. He played for FC Barcelona and his great love Napoli. With Argentina he won the world title in 1986.
Career off the field
Off the field, Maradona faced many problems. Alcohol and drug use, quarrels with the Mafia in Naples, divorces, money problems and many health problems. Maradona often made the wrong choices in his personal life.
In a documentary from 2019, his personal trainer says: ‘With Diego I would go to the end of the world, but with Maradona I would not take a step’.
A very striking summary of the two faces the Argentinian had. For a number of people, it’s the reason they don’t think Maradona is the best ever. Because in his life outside the field he messed up. “Not a role model!” They say. There is some truth in that, of course. For true Maradona fans, that’s no reason to hate him.
“God has human traits,” said many people in Argentina.