The Career of Maradona: Diego Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, in Lanus, Buenos Aires province. He started playing football in the yard. After starting school, he was included in the football team.
The Career of Maradona
From the age of 12, he played for the youth squad of the Argentinos Juniors club under an assumed name, since only football players who had reached the age of 14 were allowed to participate in the matches.
Maradona made his debut for Argentinos Juniors in the Argentine Championship on October 20, 1976, at the age of 15. In 1977, the striker made his debut for the Argentine national team in a friendly match with the Hungarian team. By that time, he had only played 12 matches in the national championship.
Maradona was one of the candidates to travel to the 1978 homeworld championship but was the last player to be dropped from the preliminary application. The footballer called that decision of the coaches “the hardest defeat in my life.” The Argentines won gold medals that year.
In 1979, Maradona was the captain of the Argentina youth team at the world championship in Japan. The Argentines won the tournament by winning all matches. In the decisive game, they were stronger than the USSR national team (3: 1). Maradona scored the last goal and called that team the best of all in his career.
In October 1980, Maradona scored four goals for Boke Juniors, but from the club’s management he heard “You get paid for goals.” The footballer announced his departure from Argentinos Juniors. As part of this team, he played 166 matches and scored 116 goals.
First World Championship
In February 1981, Maradona became a Boca Juniors player. For 1.5 years, the club had to pay the striker’s previous team $ 3.6 million.
Maradona’s career at Boca did not work out, although he won the 1981 Argentinean Championship with her. He had conflicts with head coach Silvio Marsolini, who adhered to a strict model of the game. Maradona lacked creative freedom.
The footballer also clashed with the management of the club. Speaking on TV, he even called one of the board members a fool for accusing the players of incomplete dedication. In total, Maradona played 40 matches with Boca and scored 28 goals.
Maradona played his last match in the Argentinean championship in February, after which he began preparations for the World Cup in Spain, which lasted four months.
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Argentines were the reigning world champions both among adults and among youth teams. And with Maradona, who already thundered all over the world, were considered the main favorites of the tournament.
However, already in the first group stage, Argentina faced serious problems, losing in the opening match to Belgium 0: 1. Victories over Hungary (4: 1) and El Salvador (2: 0) brought the team to the second group stage, but there the Argentines faced a fiasco – failures in both matches – with Italy (1: 2) and Brazil (1: 3). In the last game, Maradona was sent off. He scored only one goal in the entire tournament.
The failure at the World Cup did not affect the status of Maradona – many grandees of European football dreamed of getting him. The best offer “Boke” was made by the Spanish “Barcelona”, paying $ 8 million for the striker. This transfer at that time turned out to be the most expensive in the history of football.
Maradona made his debut for Barcelona on September 4, but in December he was diagnosed with hepatitis. The footballer missed three months. At the beginning of the next season, Maradona was again on sick leave. In around four-game, he suffered an ankle fracture, underwent surgery, and returned to the field early next year.
Maradona did not show his usual level of play. Barcelona fans expressed outrage. Once the attacker even threatened them with his fist. The defeat in the final of the Cup of the country from Athletic did not add any mood to anyone. After the match, Maradona pounced on an opponent and provoked a massive brawl. He received a three-month suspension.
Dissatisfaction with Maradona began to be expressed in the club. Barcelona president Josep Nunez made claims against the player for frequent visits to nightclubs. Once his passport was taken from him. Maradona made a scandal and smashed one of the trophies in the office. Maradona’s career at Barcelona failed. He played only 36 matches with the team (22 goals). He later stated that moving to Catalonia was a mistake.
Maradona spent the longest part of his career at Napoli, for which he played from 1984 to 1991. With the Italian side, he played 188 matches – more than for any other club.
Barcelona let Maradona go to Napoli without any problems. Only a day passed between the offer and the purchase. The amount of the transfer was $ 7.6 million. On July 5, 70 thousand people gathered at the presentation of Maradona.
His famous gesture – kissing the ball after a goal – Maradona first performed in Napoli. This happened after the debut goal, which Maradona scored in the second match for the new club.
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As part of Napoli, Maradona also played one of his most famous goals – tossing the ball into the air and breaking it from afar. In total, Maradona scored 81 goals for Napoli.
It was with Napoli that Maradona achieved the most serious victories at the club level. In 1987 and 1990 he won the Italian championship, in 1989 – the UEFA Cup.
With Napoli, Maradona visited Moscow for the 1/8 final match of the European Cup with Spartak in 1990. The attacking football teams did not score a single goal in two matches. Spartak knocked Maradona’s Napoli out of the tournament in a penalty shootout.
World Championships Gold and Silver
The time spent at Napoli was prime for Maradona. At the 1986 World Cup, Argentina won all matches, except for the group stage meeting with Italy (1: 1). Maradona scored five goals, including two in the quarterfinals with England (2-1) and two in the semi-finals with Belgium (2-0).
In the final, the Argentines defeated Germany (3: 2). On the eve of the tournament, Maradona said: “This championship will be mine.”
Of the goals scored by Maradona in that tournament, one is known to the whole world. In the quarter-finals with England, the striker opened the scoring in the 51st minute, scoring the ball with his left hand. The judges did not notice the violation of the rules. “I didn’t touch the ball, it was the hand of God,” Maradona said.
Before the 1990 World Cup, Maradona admitted that due to health problems he would refuse to participate in the tournament, but in the end, injuries did not prevent him from coming to Italy.
Argentina left the group with great difficulty, defeating the USSR with a score of 2: 0 (in that game, Maradona cleared the ball out of the empty net with his hand, but the referees again did not notice the violation), ending in a draw with Romania (1: 1) and losing to Cameroon (0:1).
In the playoffs, the team played strained but still reached the final, beating Brazil 1: 0 with an overwhelming advantage of the opponent and on penalties from Yugoslavia (1: 0) and Italy (2: 1).
In the final, the Argentines again played with the FRG. And this time they lost 0: 1. Maradona did not score a single goal for the entire tournament. But I remember the excellent transfer to Claudio Canigio, who scored the winning goal for the Brazilians.
Completion of a career
After the defeat from the Germans, Maradona burst into tears, during the awards ceremony he refused to shake hands with FIFA President Joao Havelange and said that he had ended his career in the national team.
On March 17, 1991, cocaine was found in Maradona’s blood. He was disqualified for 15 months and returned to his homeland, where he was arrested for drug possession and sentenced to 14 months probation.
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After the end of the suspension, Maradona signed a contract with the Spanish “Sevilla”. Often he went on the field with injuries, and once during the break, he asked for a replacement, which he was denied.
Maradona was replaced shortly after the resumption of play, which infuriated him. He insulted the coach and will smash in the locker room. A few days later, the footballer and the mentor had a fight. Maradona managed to play only 26 matches for Sevilla (five goals).
Maradona returned to Argentina – to Newells Old Boys. But soon the team was replaced by a coach, with whom Maradona did not work out. He spent only five matches for the new club.
Maradona decided to resume playing for the national team and helped her qualify for the 1994 World Cup. The striker also performed in the final stage of the tournament, wherein in the game with Greece he scored his last goal at the world championships. Argentines lost in the 1/8 finals to Romania 2: 3. For Maradona, that tournament ended after the second game – he was again found doping and disqualified for 15 months – until September 15, 1995.
Work as a coach
During the disqualification, Maradona tried to work as a coach. But after serving his sentence, he returned to the field as a player for Boca Juniors, for which he played 30 matches (seven goals), and on October 30, 1997, on his 37th birthday, announced his retirement.