Diego Armando Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, very soon the legendary Argentine footballer will celebrate his 60th birthday. In the family, he was the fifth child and the first boy, Diego has four older sisters. His father, Don Diego, worked at the mill, and his mother, Dalma Salvador Franco, was a housewife. Diego became interested in football at the age of seven, after his cousin gave him the ball.
The first successes came very quickly, two years later Diego played for the children's team of the famous Argentinos Juniors club. He was even chosen as the captain, despite the fact that all teammates were several years older. Already at that time, the coaches assumed that over time the boy would become a "star" of football. At the age of 12, Maradona came out already as part of the youth team, and the coaches, in order to declare him for matches, had to attribute the young footballer to several years. Diego first played for Argentinos Juniors in 1976, a few days before his 16th birthday.
A few months later, in February 1977, Maradona made his debut in the Argentine national team in a match with Hungary. The young footballer came on as a substitute 20 minutes before the end of the meeting, without having time to prove himself in anything special. Logically, by then he had played only a few matches for Argentinos Juniors.
The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, Diego Maradona was among the candidates for participation in it, but two weeks before the start of the tournament, the coach of the Argentine national team Cesar Luis Menotti announced the final squad, in which there was no place for Maradona. For the young man, this news was a real blow, in an interview he said that he would never forgive this Menotti. By the way, the Argentine national team at the home world championship became the winner.
Having played in his homeland for two clubs (Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors), Diego Maradona set off to conquer Europe in 1982, signing a contract with Spanish “Barcelona.” The Spaniards paid $ 8 million for Maradona, at that time it was the biggest transfer in the history of football. Diego played for Barcelona for 2 years, after which he moved to Italian Napoli. Despite the fact that in Barcelona, according to fan polls, he was included in the top three players for the entire existence of the team, the footballer himself called his visit to Spain a mistake.
In 1984, the Napoli club, for which Diego Maradona played, became the champion of Italy. For the Neapolitans, this was the first such success, which could not have taken place without the Argentine legionnaire. The victory was celebrated on a grand scale, with many of the city's statues wearing number 10 T-shirts, and pizzerias offering Maradona pizza, which was incredibly popular with football fans.
The best season in a football career was 1986, when Maradona, together with the Argentine national team, won the World Cup in Mexico and was named the best player in this tournament. Not without a scandal, in the quarterfinal match with the British, Maradona sent the ball into the opponent's net with his hand. Despite this, the referee counted the goal. Maradona himself later admitted that he had broken the rules, adding that it was the "Hand of God".
The Argentine Football Federation appealed to FIFA with a request - to allow the shirt with number 10 to be permanently withdrawn from circulation, as a sign of Diego Maradona's merits. The Argentines dreamed that no other player of their national team could appear on the field with a top ten on their back. Top football officials refused, in recent years, no less famous Argentinean - Lionel Messi has been playing at number 10.
Despite the fact that Maradona was one of the highest paid football players in the world, he was reluctant to pay taxes. As a result, his debt to the Italian treasury amounted to almost $ 40 million. During his stay in Italy, a footballer has to part with expensive things that go towards paying off a debt. The former footballer himself does not admit his guilt, saying that he has never evaded taxes.
A great football player in everyday life has never been an example to follow. He had to undergo drug addiction treatment in Cuba for a long time. Maradona was a great friend of the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro. A tattoo with his image adorns the football player's left leg. And on the right shoulder is a portrait of another fiery revolutionary - Ernesto Che Guevara.
For a long time there has been a debate about who should be considered the best footballer of the twentieth century - the Argentinean Maradona or the Brazilian Pele? According to the results of the Internet voting conducted by FIFA, Maradona was recognized as the best. At the same time, the FIFA officials themselves called the Brazilian the best. As a result, a "Solomon" decision was made - to recognize two players as "Players of the 20th century according to FIFA". Maradona was dissatisfied with this decision, after he received the award, he left the ceremony without waiting for the celebration of Pele.