Diego Armando Maradona FrancoLegendary Argentina Footballer
- Date of Birth
- October 30, 1960
- Place of Birth
- Lanús, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
- Playing Position
- Attacking midfielder - Second striker
Diego Armando Maradona Franco (Spanish pronunciation, born 30 October 1960) is an Argentine former footballer. He has served as a manager and coach at other clubs as well as for the national team of Argentina. Many experts, football critics, former players, current players and football fans regard Maradona as the greatest football player of all time. He was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pelé.
A playmaker who operated in the classic number 10 position, Maradona is the only player in football history to set the world record transfer fee twice, first when he transferred to Barcelona for a then world record £5m, and second, when he transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9m. He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys during his club career, and is most famous for his time at Napoli where he won numerous accolades. In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. Maradona’s exceptional vision, passing, ball control, dribbling skills, speed, reflexes and thinking time was combined with his small size (he was 5’5″, or 1.65m) giving him a low center of gravity which allowed him to be more maneuverable than most other football players; he would often dribble past multiple opposing players on a run. His presence on the pitch would have a great effect on his team’s general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Boy”), a name that stuck with him throughout his career.
Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. In the 1986 World Cup quarter final, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history for two different reasons. The first goal was an unpenalized handling foul known as the “Hand of God”, while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble past five England players, voted “The Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002.
Maradona is considered one of the sport’s most controversial and newsworthy figures. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. after testing positive for ephedrine. In 2005, he lost a considerable amount of extra weight and overcame his cocaine addiction. Known for his street smart, anti-establishment persona, his outspoken views have sometimes put him in conflict with journalists and sport executives. Although he had little managerial experience, he became head coach of the Argentina national team in November 2008, and held the job for eighteen months, until his contract expired after the 2010 World Cup.
He coached Dubai-based club Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League for the 2011–12 season. In August 2013, Maradona joined Argentine Primera D club Deportivo Riestra’s staff as “spiritual coach”.