Armando Maradona is by many regarded as the greatest player in
the history of the game. He was born on October 30th 1960 in Lanus
outside Buenos Aires. There he played for Los Cebollitas (The
little onions), before he joined Argentinos Juniors. At 16 he
was Argentina's youngest-ever international when he played against
Hungary. Two years later he captained the World Youth Cup winners
and was soon transferred to Boca Juniors for £1.000.000.
The success continued and he was voted South American Player Of
The Year in 1979 and 1980.
In 1982 Maradona joined
Spanish giants Barcelona for a world record transfer fee of £5.000.000.
The same year the World Cup was held in Spain and Maradona made
his World Cup debut on his new homeground Estadio Nou Camp. The
tournament didn't end as Maradona had hoped and he was sent off
against Brazil in the second phase, as Argentina bowed out.
In his first season
for "Barca" he helped them win the league, leaguecup
and the Super Cup. Two years later, another world record fee of
£6.900.000 took him to success-starved Napoli, and in 1987
they won a league and cup double. A year earlier he had captained
Argentina to a second World Cup triumph. It was a World Cup that
forever will be synonymous with Maradona. He scored 5 goals in
that tournament, including two against England. Both are among
the most controversal in World Cup history. The first was the
infamous "Hand of God" and the second probably the greatest
goal ever scored in a World Cup game, as he ran from his own half
showing magic displays and leaving seven English players for dead.
with Napoli as he again steered them to a leaguetitle and in 1989
even a triumph in the UEFA cup. In 1990 the World Cup was held
in Italy and Maradona captained Argentina to yet another final.
The Germans were once again the opponents and this time they proved
too strong for the Argentinians. That loss was to be the beginning
of the end for Maradona. Two drug scandals have created black
spots on his name and reputation. Several come-backs have been
tried since 1991 and after helping Argentina qualifying for the
1994 World Cup in USA, Maradona looked fit for fight again. A
marvellous goal against Greece in the first match gave proves
But in the next game
against Nigeria he was caught for drug abuse, and the World Cup
story of Diego Armando Maradona got a sad ending. That match meant
that Maradona equalled the record of matches played in the World
Cup of 21, held by Uwe Seeler and Wladislav Zmuda (Later beaten
by Lothar Matthäus). Maradona retired from international
football after that with a gallery of good and bad memories. But
he is by neutral football lovers regarded alongside Pelé
as the greatest player of them all.