RIP Maradona, the genius of football
There are a few names which can be used synonymously with the profession they are in. Diego Maradona is one such name. Any football fan would readily accept that the place Maradona holds in the universe of the game is unparalleled. And as if this year couldn’t have been worse, the genius of football is no longer among us. The 60-year-old Argentine player passed away due to cardiac arrest. While the world mourns, let’s know more about the magician who made a mark on this ‘beautiful game’.
- On February27, 1977 Maradona made his international debut against Hungary at Age 16, at the Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires. He had made his professional debut just a year ago.
- Maradona was part of the Argentine Youth Squad that won the 1979 Youth World Cup in Japan.
- Maradona holds the record for making the most number of appearances as captain of any country in a World Cup. He skippered Argentina on 16 occasions.
- He also holds the record for the most number of fouls suffered or butchered or kicked very badly by the opponents in one game in a World Cup when Italy fouled him 23 times in the 1982 edition of the World Cup.
- Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina, scoring 34 goals. He played in four World Cup tournaments for his country.
- He is the fifth highest goalscorer for Argentina, behind Lionel Messi, Gabriel Batistuta, Sergio Aguero and Hernan Crespo.
- Scottish fan group The Tartan Army have a chant in praise of Maradona for sending their neighbours out of the 1986 World Cup.
- Maradona skippered Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final and also won the Golden Ball for being the tournament’s outstanding player.
- He scored using his hand in the quarter-final of the 1986 World Cup against England. When he was quizzed about the incident, he said: “The goal was scored a little bit by the hand of God, a little by the head of Maradona.”
- Argentinos Juniors have named their stadium after Maradona, calling it Estadio Diego Armando Maradona.
- He has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm, and a portrait of Fidel Castro tattooed on his left leg.