"El Pibe de Oro", the Golden Boy of Argentina has passed away, but his memory will be with us forever. Read on as we provide detailed information about Diego Maradona bio.
It is true that the beloved and world-famous Diego Maradona might not need any introduction, as people already know about at least some of the best moments that the Argentinian gifted the viewers. However, many might deem it necessary that we not only remember the legendary midfielder’s feats, but also read about his life in detail, as he is now part of the world’s history. That is why we have gathered as much information as possible, creating Diego Maradona biography, worthy of his fame and status both in and outside football.
Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentine footballer and football manager, whose prime days dated back to the 1980s, when he quite literally became the best player in the world. While only two contemporary footballers, that is Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, are worthy of dining with the all-time great Pele in football’s hall of fame as they have even surpassed his renowned records, it was Maradona that people truly considered to be Pele’s rival, despite them playing in completely different eras.
Diego Maradona date of birth is 30 October 1960. Amongst the celebrities born on 30 October, are Ivanka Trump, Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker and Henry Winkler. While these celebrities have their own influence and effect on the world and a portion of its population, there is no doubt that they could never reach the same heights as Maradona, whose name echoes in the narrow alleys of every country in love of with football, as children grow up with stories from the days of the Argentine’s prime.
Diego Maradona nationality was perhaps one of the reasons he got where he was as a footballer and as a person, as football runs through Argentina’s veins, with people expecting to see at least one Argentinian footballer in every generation become one of the greatest football players of all time. With the former Napoli attacking-midfielder being born in Argentina, it is quite normal to see that he was a devout Catholic Christian, as most of Argentinians are.
While Diego Maradona religion is not that surprising, it is baffling to see that three of Maradona’s fans, namely Hector Campomar, Alejandro Veron and Hernan Amez have in fact founded a church in honor of the late footballer, naming it “Iglesia Maradoniana”, or the Church of Maradona, which shows that he is literally worshipped in Argentina as the greatest of all time.
With that being said, many would surely be interested to have a look at Diego Maradona biography and get to know more about one of the greatest footballers to have ever graced the pitch with their swift balling techniques. Read on to find more details about the Argentinian legend’s life as a footballer, as a manager and as a person in general.
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As mentioned earlier, it might be essential to read Diego Maradona biography, as it could help us through life in great extent, with every moment in the late footballer’s life capable of teaching us certain lessons that could definitely come in handy when needed.
Before having a detailed look at Diego Maradona biography facts, let us take a look at a list of basic information about the former Barcelona midfielder.
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Diego Maradona childhood hard tough beginnings, as he was born to a poor family in Lanus, Buenos Aires, who had relocated from Corrientes. Being raised in Villa Fiorito in Buenos Aires, Maradona spent his time playing football wherever possible, with his younger brothers Hugo and Raul, both of whom grew up to be professional footballers as well. It is also interesting to know that Diego was named after his father, Diego Maradona senior, who was known as Chitoro (1927-2015).
While parents nowadays buy gaming consoles for their children, Diego Maradona’s parents gifted him his first ball at age three as he fell in love with the sport and began stepping in the right direction towards greatness. At age eight, while he was playing for Estrella Roja, a club in his neighborhood, a scout spotted the young boy and invited him for try outs as he later quickly became a part of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), which is Argentinos Juniors’ junior team.
Almost all professional footballers spend some time of their youth as ball boys, and even Maradona was not an exception. At age twelve, he spent his time as a ball boy, wowing everyone with his skills and technique whenever the chance presented itself. Growing up, he considered Rivellino, the World Cup winning playmaker from Brazil, and George Best, Manchester United’s winger to be his sources of inspiration. While his childhood was certainly an interesting period, it is not the whole part of Diego Maradona life story, as it gets even more interesting.
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This part of Diego Maradona biography will tend to the professional life of the great footballer. Having previously gotten into the Los Cebollitas team, Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors, going against Talleres de Cordoba on 20 October 1976, only ten days before his 16th birthday.
With this debut, he became the youngest player ever in the history of the club and the Primera Division. While most youngsters could get nervous about their debuts and keep it safe at all times during the match, Maradona simply showed from the very beginning that he was levels above everyone else considering his class and talent.
It only took him a few minutes to nutmeg the ball past Juan Cabrera to start off his professional career with an amazing skill move which later became his most famous nutmeg, considering he got used to humiliating opposition players quickly. He did not get to score on his debut, but it did not matter a lot as his first goal in the Primera Division came against San Lorenzo on 14 November 1976.
After impressing literally anyone who laid eyes on his agility, pace and dribbling technique, Diego Maradona life story took him to Boca Juniors, as the club had to pay $4 million for his transfer. Of course they were not the only team running after the new sensation, as River Plate were also interested in signing Maradona. But the youngster expressed his desire to play for Boca Juniors as he dreamed of one day playing for the club.
Officially moving to Boca Juniors on 20 February 1981, he made his debut against Talleres de Cordoba on 22 February and managed to score a brace to help his team to a 4-1 victory. Maradona got to win his first and only league title in Argentina after drawing against Racing Club. After spending five seasons with the 1981 Primera Division champions, he agreed on a transfer deal to move to Barcelona for a world record fee of £5 million.
Moving to either of the powerhouses in Spain, that is Real Madrid or Barcelona, the first match that a player might think about is the world renowned El Clasico, but the thoughts did not faze the Argentinian, as he managed to score against Barcelona’s archrivals and help his club win the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. He even managed to become the very first Barcelona player ever to receive a standing ovation from Madridistas at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, a mark of accomplishment that only Ronaldinho and Andres Iniesta have been able achieve after Maradona.
Napoli was where the Argentine talent truly managed to shine and in his prime, become the player that everyone expected him to be. He was welcomed by 75,000 fans when he arrived at the Stadio San Paolo on 5 July 1984, with many believing that the savior had arrived, and arrive he did.
His move to Napoli completely shifted the balance of power in Italy, as only teams from the north of Italian Peninsula, such as Inter, AC Milan, Roma and Juventus had managed to win the Serie A prior to his arrival. But all of that was about to change as Napoli became the very first club from the south to ever win the league title. Not so long after his arrival in Italy, the captain’s armband was passed down from Giuseppe Bruscolotti to Maradona as he became the sole shining star of “I Partenopei”.
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Diego Maradona was the representation of what a “classic number 10” should be, as he was a playmaker who regularly free roamed as an attacking midfielder and a second striker, covering the two front strikers. When we talk Maradona, we quickly think about his dribbling ability which gave us some of the most iconic goals in football history, with his 1986 World Cup goal even becoming the goal of the 20th century.
Of course it was not the dribbling alone that made him what he was at both club and international levels, as his eagle-eyed vision, his laser-guided passes and his creativity both as a midfielder and as a goal poacher had created one of the most lethal players to ever grace the pitch. Despite his short stature as a footballer, Maradona had immense physical strength that helped his balance alongside his low center of gravity, as he tore through the opposition defense with class.
While some footballers might believe in fair play and call upon the referee themselves to report a foul that they themselves have committed, Diego Maradona was quite the opposite, as he conned match officials and players into believing what he had to say, with the most controversial and historic example being the “Hand of God” incident at the 1986 World Cup quarter final match against England, where he deliberately used his hand to score a crucial goal which knocked England out of the competition as Argentina went through to the Semi-finals.
Many in today’s world of football tend to be two-footed and can use both their feet to shoot the ball accurately, but Maradona’s left foot dominated his play as he was known to be a lethal left-footed midfielder. But he was not as comfortable with his right foot as he was with his left, which meant that more of than not, he would switch his play just to get the ball to his left and get more of a technical advantage over the opposition defense.
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There is no doubt that the Argentine legend was and still is considered to be the best player of his generation and at least one of the best in history. While football is usually considered to be a team-based passing game, nothing could excite the viewers more than a good feint, a beautiful nutmeg, or anything related to showboating and getting the ball past the opposition players in style. That is why the 1986 World Cup winner has and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of his fans and admirers.
The late Napoli midfielder was involved in many controversies both on and off the pitch, but the praises kept coming from other player, pundits, fans, opposition fans, managers and basically anyone who was lucky enough to witness his magic. Having left behind a legacy that will be echoing through the halls of Napoli’s stadium, the Italian club decided to name their stadium after Diego Maradona, as his death brought thousands of Napoli fans and Millions of Argentinians outside during the COVID-19 pandemic to mourn his death.
While some of today’s footballers tend to choose a certain way of celebrating their goals in order to trademark their moves and celebrations, Diego Maradona did not have a certain fixed type of celebration, as he usually celebrated both with and without his teammates, usually running up to the crowd, jumping up in the air to celebrate his world-class and jaw-dropping goals.
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While all of the information above about Diego Maradona biography has been about his days as a footballer, it is worth mentioning how the Argentinian legend viewed the world and what he believed in. His political views were tied to left-wing ideologies, as he believed in equality and claimed that there is in fact a social injustice and inequality that many suffer from these days. He even condemned Israel’s military strikes on Gaza during the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2014, believing that Palestine should be an independent state, claiming that Israel’s actions against the Palestinians were disgraceful.
Maradona even got to meet and make friends with Fidel Castro, former prime minister of Cuba, and the late Hugo Chavez, former Venezuelan president. In 2004, he took part in a protest against the US-led was in Iraq, even protesting the arrival of George W. Bush in Argentina. While he had previously claimed that he hated everything about the United States, his views about the North American country took a turn and changed for the good after Barack Obama replaced Bush as the president of the United States.
With him being raised in Villa Miseria, Maradona had become a popular figure amongst the lower classes as well as the upper classes, turning into a “man of the people” athlete, who even had a dispute with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican about the issue of wealth disparity, with Maradona commenting on the issue, saying that "I argued with him because I was in the Vatican and I saw all these golden ceilings and afterwards I heard the Pope say the Church was worried about the welfare of poor kids. Sell your ceiling then, amigo, do something!"
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While Maradona’s way of life as a footballer on the pitch was one for the history books that younger generations could choose as their role model, his personal life was one that some might want to forget, despite it causing a lot more talk and controversy over the years. The Argentine footballer’s life was riddled with addiction and health problems, both physical and mental, as he allegedly first got addicted to cocaine while still in Barcelona in 1983. He continued using the substance until 2004, when he seemingly called it quits, or at least reduced the amount taken.
He used to be a fit footballer despite spending his nights partying, thanks to his metabolism that helped him keep in shape for football matches week in week out. But after retirement, there was no football match to stop him from getting out of shape and gaining significant weight.
Maradona was born to a Roman Catholic family and was raised in a shantytown in Argentina. He married Claudia Villafane on 7 November 1989 in Buenos Aires at the age of 29, the result of which were two daughters, Dalma Nerea and Giannina Dinorah. It all seemed to have worked out for the Argentinian, but it seemed that the two were destined to spend the rest of their lives in separation, as they got divorced in 2004.
Of course it was not bad at all for the family, as they all believed that it was for the better, with them continuing their friendly relationship after the divorce and even spending some time together in Naples and the 2006 World Cup.
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Every athlete who earns a significant amount of money is expected to lend a helping hand towards making the world a better place, which is exactly what Diego Maradona did as well by donating to various charities, supporting children, health and human rights, while fighting to against poverty, slavery and human trafficking. He was also involved in several donations to The United Nations Children’s Fund.
The late footballer had his fair share of legal disputes over the years, as his cocaine addiction and sometimes violence on and off the pitch would throw him into another controversial court case. He even had a legal dispute over accepting Diego Sinagra as his legal son, who was born in Naples in 1986. He refused to undergo a DNA test in order to clarify the situation, but later admitted during his divorce proceedings that he in fact was his son.
Now, as the sad truth about many of us humans has once again shown itself, his children and former partners are readying themselves to battle over his assets, something which has upset many around the world.
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Here are the Argentine great’s stats during his career both as a football player on club and international lever, and as a football manager.
Diego Maradona switched clubs seven times during his illustrious career, playing for six different teams which were from Argentina, Barcelona, Italy and Spain. He went on to make a total of 166 appearances for Argentinos Juniors, 111 appearances for Boca Juniors, 58 for Barcelona, 259 for Napoli during his prime days, 29 for Sevilla and 5 appearances for Newell’s Old Boys, with his overall game tally reaching 588 appearances across all competitions. He also managed to score a phenomenal 312 goals during those appearances, many of which wowed the viewers with how gloriously beautiful they were.
Not only was Maradona the savior Napoli fans had been waiting for, he was also the savior of Argentina, as his impressive performances earned them one of the two World Cups that Argentina have, with many believing that he single-handedly (no pun intended) won the 1986 World Cup for his country, an accomplishment that not even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the greatest players of all time have been able to achieve. Maradona made a total of 70 appearances for his country, scoring 26 goals and providing 11 assists.
The Argentine legend’s career as a football player might be one of the greatest fables to end in disaster, but his managerial career never even reached the same heights as his days as player, as he changed clubs almost consistently, managing clubs such as Racing Club de Avellaneda, Mandiyu, Al Wasl FC, Fujairah and many other clubs as well. He also became the head coach of Gimnasia de La Plata on 5 September 2019, getting involved in the political game of the club, leaving the team after only two months and finally returning two days later.
His days as the Argentina’s national team manager was also not as bright as his prime days as a player. But he showed more of promise as his country’s manager, as he took his team to the quarter finals of the 2010 World Cup with a win 3-1 win against Mexico. Sadly for Argentinians, however, they were beaten by a stronger Germany 4-0 in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
After Argentina ranked fifth in the World Cup, the AFA announced that they were not planning on renewing Maradona’s contract, as he left the managerial position after he World Cup in South Africa.
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The Argentine legend won the following trophies and individual honors throughout his life, something that not many people have achieved. He won the Priemera Division with Boca Juniors, the Copa del Rey, Copa de La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana with Barcelona, two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Cup and the Italian Super Cup with Napoli during his career in club football. He also managed to win the 1986 World Cup and the Artemio Franchi trophy as an Argentina international.
Diego Maradona won numerous individual honors during his career, some of which include the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and Silver Shoe, the Onze d’Or, the FIFA Player of the Century, FIFA Goal of the Century, FIFA World Cup Dream Team, the Golden Foot and many other individual and collective honors and trophies.