Argentine football legend Diego Maradona passed away on Wednesday (November 25) following a heart attack. The 1986 World Cup winning captain’s demise has left millions of his fans in shock and mourning. Last month, he had celebrated his 60th birthday.
Born as Diego Armando Maradona Franco on October 30, 1960, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maradona was one of the greatest to have played the game. He was synonymous with the No. 10 jersey.
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Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina and scored 34 goals. He featured in four World Cups, and also coached the national team in the 2010 edition in South Africa. At the 1994 World Cup in the US, Maradona was sent home, after playing only two games, as he failed a doping test.
In the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals against England, Maradona punched the ball into the net. “The goal was scored a little bit by the hand of God, a little by the head of Maradona,” he had said about that “Hand of God” goal.
For the 1978 World Cup, then coach Cesar Luis Menotti felt Maradona was too young to be picked. At the time, he was 17 years old. In 1976, he had made his international debut, against Hungary at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.
Maradona started his career with Argentinos Juniors in 1976, and went on to play for Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, and Newell’s Old Boys.
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After his playing days were over, Maradona was a coach with various teams including Textil Mandiyu (1994), Racing Club (1995), Argentina (2008-2010), Al Wasl (UAE/2011-12), Al-Fujairah (UAE/2017-18), Dorados (MEX/2018-19), and recently with Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata (2019-20).
Maradona won various awards and honours which included FIFA World Cup winner (1986), FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (1986), UEFA Cup winner (1989), Italian champion (1987, 1990), Argentine champion (1981), Spanish Super Cup (1983), Spanish Cup (1983), Italian Cup (1987), Italian Super Cup (1990), top scorer in Italy (1988), Argentina (1979, 1980), FIFA Player of the Century (2000). He was also a part of the Youth World Cup winning squad in Japan in 1979.