Diego Maradona Success Story
Diego Maradona was born on October 30, 1960 in Lanus, Buenos Aires. He was raised in a very poor family which had moved to a small town called Villa Fiorito by the time he was a year old. He took a liking to football at a very young age. When he was 10 years old he was playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja.
At the age of 12, he was chosen to play for Los Cebollitas. His skills were appreciated by the audience who were amazed at seeing this small kid run past many taller kids with utmost ease. At the age of 15, he got a chance to make his professional debut with Argentinos Juniors.
Maradona did not let go of this opportunity to bring his family out of poverty. He played at his highest level in every match and during his five year stay at the club scored 115 goals in 167 matches. In 1981 he was transferred to heavy weights Boca Juniors for a sum of £1 million. The very next year he was instrumental in Boca juniors winning the league Championship.
Maradona was soon picked in the Argentina national squad and got a chance to play in the 1982 World Cup. There were high expectations on him to help his team defend their World Cup. Maradona wasn’t able to inspire his team to reach the semi-finals but ended up contributing two great goals in five matches.
After the World Cup, Maradona was transferred to Spanish side FC Barcelona for world record fees of $7.6 million. In 1983, Maradona was able to keep his focus and guided the team to win the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup. He had a very successful two years with the side scoring 38 goals in a total of 58 games. But off field problems with the staff and players forced him to be transferred to Italian side Napoli for another World record fee of $10.5 million. He was called for captaining the Argentinean national side for the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona was the centre of the media attraction and was shouldering huge responsibility being the star player of the world. This World Cup became the most celebrated moment in Maradona’s career as he guided his team single-handedly to win the championship. He was never substituted throughout the whole tournament and played nearly every minute of every Argentina game. He made a total of 5 stunning goals and 5 assists for which he was given the Golden Ball Award for being the best player in the tournament. His goal versus England in the quarterfinals in which he dribbled past five English players and covered half the field has been named by FIFA as the ‘Goal of the Century’.
Maradona had already become the poster boy of football with his unbelievable achievements at such a young age. But his success was only to be continued. He played for his club Napoli and continued his sensational form from the World Cup. In 1986/87 and 1989/90, he led his team to win the Serie A Italian Championships.
In 1987/88 and 1988/89, his team finished second. These were the most dominant years that Napoli had seen, all because of an Argentinean sensation called Diego Maradona. In 1990, Maradona again captained his national side but this time he could only lead his team to the World Cup finals.
"When you win, you don't get carried away. But if you go step by step, with confidence, you can go far." - Diego Armando Maradona Franco
With this achievement Maradona had been raised as one of the greatest players of the 20th century. In the year 2000 he was voted as the ‘FIFA Player of the Century’ along with Pele. The dominance that Maradona has displayed from 1983-1990 is nearly impossible to replicate. This has been the result of the hardwork and determination that he has put into improving and sustaining his immense talent. From living in a famished neighbourhood, Maradona has gone on to become one of the most popular personalities in the world because of his amazing skills and achievements in football.
FIFA Player of the Century
United Press International Athlete of the Year
South American Footballer of the Year
South American Footballer of the Year