"Diego Armando Maradona "

It's difficult to talk about Diego Maradona without comparing him to Pele. C'mon, despite both former soccer players' flattering declarations towards the other one, there's clearly a rivalry between them for the title of "Best Player of All Time". Still, I'll try to detach myself from this comparison, since they are different players, with different game styles, different positions on the pitch and, most importantly, played in different leagues. If we want to make peace between both sides, we can just say that Pele was the best striker of all times, whereas Diego Armando Maradona was the best midfielder, but that's about as far as I will go with the comparison. So since I covered Pele in his biography, let's take a short look at this Diego Maradona biography that will take you from his youth, all the way to his career's end. Diego Maradona Biography – Early Years Born in poverty in one of Buenos Aires' outskirt areas, Diego Armando Maradona certainly had no favorable conditions to become a soccer player. His numerous family, including 3 older sisters and 2 younger brothers meant that the family budget went into necessities and the small boy couldn't even afford a ball to play with on the streets of his neighborhood. Full name : Diego Armando Maradona Date of birth : October 30, 1960 Place of birth : Villa Fiorito, Argentina Height : 5.5FT - 1.65M Playing position : Attacking Midfielder Luckily, some of the other kids could afford one and invited Diego to play, since he proved to be extremely talented even during his early years. It was in one of these "street matches" that Maradona was first spotted by a talent scout and, at age 10, was offered a place in the youth squad of Argentinos Juniors. Despite being shorter than most of his youth teammates who grew up above him, he used his physical constitution to his advantage. His strong legs and low center of gravity meant that he could fire up short sprints past defenders and also control the ball much quickly on the ground. These characteristics made him debut to the Argentinos Juniors in 1976 and played for the team for 5 more years, before being bought by Argentinian bigwigs, Boca Juniors. Diego Maradona Biography – Boca Juniors and the National squad Since he played well constantly for Boca and already had a few sporadic appearances in the national squad before, Diego Armando Maradona was called for the 1982 World Cup and pretty much to everyone's surprise, the young Argentinean played in all of his country's five matches, without being substituted and even managed to score twice against Hungary. Season Club Games Goals 1976–1981 Argentinos Juniors 168 116 1981–1982 Boca Juniors 40 28 1982–1984 FC Barcelona 58 38 1984–1991 Napoli 259 115 1992–1993 Sevilla FC 29 7 1993 Newell's Old Boys 7 0 1995–1997 Boca Juniors 31 7 His performance attracted the eyes of European giants such as FC Barcelona, who eventually bought him from Boca. Diego Maradona Biography - Barcelona, Napoli & the 1986 World Cup His transfer to Barcelona wasn't the big blast he and the Barca fans had hoped for, as a series of injuries and the adjustment to his new team made him shine out less than at Boca. After just two seasons, he chose to change the Spanish air with the Italian one, transferring at what was then a rather mediocre Italian team, SSC Napoli. It's here that Diego Armando Maradona found his career’s highest point, as he became one of the most adored players in Napoli and Italy and managed to bring this uneventful mid-table team to win its first championship in 1986/87, then went on to be runners up the next two seasons, before eventually winning the "Scudetto" again in 1989/1990. In 1986, with another World Cup closing in, Maradona was on the top of his game and he was expected to be one of the stars of the tournament. He did not let his fans down, as he captained the Argentinean national squad in what was one of the most rampant runs from a World Cup team. Maradona himself scored 5 goals and had 5 assists throughout the tournament, with one of the goal, scored against England in the quarter finals, viewed by many as the "Goal of the Century". Maradona then received the ball in his half, around 60 meters from England's goal, started a madman's sprint, dribbling everything in his way (6 English players and the goalkeeper) and scored a goal that will be remembered for some time. Although he also scored a controversial handball goal, called the "Hand of God" he received the Golden Ball award and was voted player of the year. Diego Maradona – Career End - The end of Diego Armando Maradona's career found him switching teams to find his recently lost spark, as he moved from Napoli to FC Sevilla in 1992, then to Argentinian side Newell's Old Boys in 1993 and eventually back to Boca Juniors in 1995, for which he played two more years. Years National Team Games Goals 1977–1994 Argentina 91 34 The temperamental Argentinean captained his national side in Italy's 1990 World Cup and Argentina was close to defending its title, but despite reaching the final, the team did not play as well as in 1986 and an ankle injury did not allow Diego Armando Maradona to play at his best either. Eventually, they lost the final to West Germany 1-0. His final soccer years found him playing for yet another World Cup, the 1994 one held in the United States, but an aged Diego Maradona, hindered by his numerous mistakes only managed to play in two games, before being sent home after failing a controversial drug test. However, all problems aside, he became part of a select group of players that managed to play in 4 different World Cups and at that, score in all 4 of them!


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