Everything You Need to know about Diego Maradona consist of his early life, club, and country history, and some of his trophies and personal records. Diego Maradona was given birth to on the 30th of October 1960 in Lanius, Argentina. He was born to a poor family and was raised in Villa Fiorito still Argentina. In addition, he was the first son and the fourth born of his parents Dalma Salvadore Franco (1930 – 2011) and Diego Maradona Chitoro (1927 – 2015). At the age of eight, Maradona’s talent was spotted by a scout of his neighborhood club Estrella Roja. At 12 years he was a ball boy, he showed some skills with the ball during the half time intermissions of first division games. Furthermore, he named Brazilian playmaker Rivellino and former Man Utd star George best among his mentors when growing up.
Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors
Ten days before his 16th birthday, he made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors, by doing so he became the youngest player in the history of the Argentine Primera Division. On the 14th of November 1976, he scored his first goal in the Primera Division. Furthermore, he spent five years at Argentinos Juniors from 1976 to 1981 and scored 115 goals in 167 appearances.
Boca Juniors signed him for four million dollars, and he signed his first contract with Boca Juniors on the 20th of February 1981. Two days later, he scored two goals on his debut against Talleres de Cordoba. Also, he played his first Superclasico against River Plate at La Bombonera stadium, his team won, and he scored one memorable goal after dribbling past two players. However, the Argentine star helped Boca Juniors to win their league title that season which was the only league he won there.
Diego Maradona joined Barcelona after the 1982 FIFA World Cup in June for a then world-record fee of 5 million pounds. He won the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup in 1983 after defeating Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, respectively. Equally Important, he was applauded by Real Madrid’s fans after he scored to ease Barcelona’s win in the El Clasico match. In addition to that, he was the first Barcelona player to be applauded by their archrival’s fans.
Due to Illness and injury, his spell at FC Barcelona was not very productive. Moreover, he was involved in a fight with Athletic Bilbao players on the pitch after he was xenophobically abused and the caused for a move out of the club. The Argentine scored 38 goals in 58 appearances for Barca after two injury-hit seasons.
The Argentine star was later transferred to Napoli for another then world record fee of 6.9 million pounds becoming the first player to break the record twice. On the 5th of July 1984, Maradona was welcomed by 75,000 fans on his presentation at Stadio San Paolo. At Napoli, he reached the peak of his professional career and elevated the team to the most successful era in its history. Maradona led Napoli to its first Serie A title in 1986/87.
In the 1987/88 season, he formed an attacking trio with Bruno Giordano and Careca and it was later dubbed the Ma-Gi-Ca (magical frontline). He finished the season as the top scorer in Serie A with 15 goals and was the all-time leading goal scorer of Napoli with 115 goals until his record was broken by Marek Hamsik in 2017. His spell in Napoli was very successful and after he left the club the number 10 jersey was officially retired. He left Napoli in disgrace after failing a cocaine drug test.
Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys, And Boca Juniors
After facing a 15-month ban from football for failing a drug test for Cocaine and leaving Napoli, he joined Sevilla despite interest from Real Madrid and Marseille. Maradona only played for a year for Sevilla.
In 1993, he played for Newell’s Old Boys and returned to Boca Juniors in 1995 for another two-year stint. Also, he appeared for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in a testimonial match for Osvaldo Ardiles against Inter Milan before the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
On the 27th of February 1977, Diego Maradona made his full international debut at the age of 16 against Hungary. The 1982 FIFA World Cup was his first world cup tournament. However, he went on to play in three more FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1986 which Argentina won, 1990 and 1994. Moreover, after failing a drug test after a match vs. Nigeria, his international career came to an end. Equally important, Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 games for the Argentine national team.
Diego Maradona is among the footballers with numerous achievements. He has won so many personal awards as well as trophies. Also, he is among the most successful players in the history of football. Below are some of his personal awards and trophies.
- Argentine Primera Division (Boca Juniors): 1981
- Copa del Rey (Barcelona): 1983
- Copa de la Liga (Barcelona): 1983
- Supercopa de Espana (Barcelona): 1983
- Serie A (Napoli): 1987, 1990
- Coppa Italiana (Napoli): 1987
- UEFA Cup [now UEFA Europa League] (Napoli): 1989
- Supercoppa Italiana (Napoli): 1990
- FIFA World Youth Championship (Argentina Youth): 1979
- FIFA World Cup (Argentina): 1986
- Artemio Franchi Trophy (Argentina): 1993
- Argentine Primera Division top scorer: 1978, 1979, 1980,
- FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
- Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
- FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
- Olimpia de Oro: 1979, 1986
- South American Footballer of the year: 1979, 1980
- Serie A Footballer of the Year: 1985
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
- UNICEF European Footballer of the Season: 1990
- FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
- Onze d’Or: 1986, 1987
- FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
- L’Equipe Champion of Champions: 1986
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986, 1990
- United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
- World Soccer magazine’s Player of the Year: 1986
- Serie A top scorer: 1988
- Coppa Italia top scorer: 1988
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
- South American Team of the Year: 1995
- FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
- Ballon d’Or for services to Football: 1995
- World Soccer Magazine’s Greatest Players of the 20th Century: 1999
- Marca Leyenda: 1999
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
- Golden Foot: 2003, as football legends.
- FIFA 100 Greatest Living Players: 2004
- Napoli All-time Top Scorer (1991 – 2017)
- Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2014
- IFFHS Legends.
Two days it was reported that the Argentine Legend died of a heart attack at his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Earlier, on the 2nd of November 2020, he was admitted to a hospital in La Piata for psychological reasons which his representative tagged as a not serious condition. A day after his admission, he had a successful surgery and was released on the 12th of November 2020.