Diego Maradona, the ronin, genius and contradiction in football, will celebrate his 60th birthday on October 30.
Diego Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, and has a brilliant career as a player. Has played for Argentina’s Boca Youth, Barcelona, Naples and other clubs. He played 91 games for the Argentina national team, scoring 34 goals; he once led the team to win the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. After retiring, he has coached many teams including the Argentina national team. His life had reached the highest peak, and then fell to the deepest valley, experienced the darkest despair, unable to cope with the exquisite flattery brought by superstar status and godlike status, and at the same time seemed inseparable from all this.
To understand Diego Maradona, you must understand Argentina, a mysterious country; this country needs people like Maradona to lead it to greatness like the Messiah, and to what it thinks is worthy. Everything you can get. You must also understand that this is a person with all kinds of paradoxes in his life, who made all kinds of mistakes, and then corrected them again and again, just like a tragic epic story about sinking and rebirth.
Which one is the real Maradona?
Is it the little boy named Diego, a talented naughty boy and the son of the people from the shanty town of Fiorito in Buenos Aires?
Or is it the god named Maradona, a myth, a great avenger, who carries dreams and aspirations for the people and finally convinced them that Argentina is the incarnation of the best country in the world?
Diego Maradona’s second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup is considered one of the most exciting goals in football history.
Perhaps it is both.
In 1968, coach Francis Conejo, a juvenile echelon affiliated with the Argentine Youth Club and called “Little Onions”, came to Fiorito to check the age of a child on his identity certificate. When he first watched the kid’s training, his first reaction was shocked, “He is too young to be 8 years old.”
The child’s mother, Dalma Salvadora Franco, took out Diego’s birth certificate at the Evita Hospital to confirm his age. Francis’s performance at that moment was like discovering a new world. He found a gem to join his team. Since March 1969, this small team has been winning, setting a record of 136 consecutive unbeaten games.
When he was a teenager, Maradona’s father-friends called him “Citolo”-drove the ferry to transport livestock from one village to another, and then he worked in a chemical factory, where he made money. His money can barely support a large family in this shanty town.
And his son’s success means that he doesn’t need to work anymore, at most he will be a “barbecue king” at home. As the fifth of the eight children in the family, Diego had become the backbone of the family’s economy when he was 15 years old. He told his father that he could rest.
From a very young age, Diego has understood that progress depends on leadership, especially when there are vacancies to be filled, regardless of your age. “We went to play in Brazil,” teammate Ruben Favlet recalled. He was like the whole team at that time, dipped in the light of Maradona, and played friendly matches in Argentina and abroad in high school.
”That was the era of color TV sets. We all wanted to move one back, but our bonuses had not yet been paid. At that time, 18-year-old Diego stood up for everyone and said to the’Young People’s Team Chairman’ Konsoli, If they don’t pay bonuses, he won’t play.”
After that, after a twists and turns of transfers, he went to Boca Juniors. Most of this was done by Maradona himself-he unruly told a journalist who was close to him, that the negotiations for him to leave the Argentine youth team were in late stages.
Naples has won the Italian Serie A twice in history, and won the UEFA Cup at the time-these were achieved during the time Maradona played for the team.
This created the first major media-driven transfer event in history, and he was a rather immature 20-year-old player. This transaction became bizarre. It started as a simple and straightforward $10 million acquisition at a high price, and then turned into a loan with six Boca players plus cash and an unclear check as collateral at the last moment. Regarding Maradona, nothing is straightforward.
His next stop was Barcelona, where he never gave his best performance. During the two years there, he was out half of the time due to various injuries. A terrible tackle by Andoni Goicoche of Athletic Bilbao caused his ankle to be seriously injured. Later, he became the principal offender in a group fight in the Copa del Rey final in front of the Spanish King, resulting in a five-month domestic suspension, and his fate there was doomed.
In fact, he was already on the verge of bankruptcy, so a profitable transfer became inevitable. Moreover, he has never adapted to life in Catalonia, where he feels like an outsider.
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Two months later, he signed with Naples, where he experienced his most successful and then the most costly days. He came to this noisy and crowded place like an overheated goldfish bowl—a city where the crime club Camorra had been ubiquitous from the beginning. From this moment on, Diego was a child of Fiorito. It became a brand called Maradona.
Suddenly, he was no longer that kid, but was more involved in his new role, falling in love with the identity of Maradona-enjoying all the glory and praise, but always knowing that all this has How suffocating.
Cocaine became his daily routine and gave him even stronger excitement than in the past; he chose drugs, which made him far away from the cruel reality and no longer needed to prove that he was the best player in the world.
And in the midst of all this, there was also such a moment, destined to be far more than an excellent player. If Argentina had not defeated England in the “Hand of God” match at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and had not successfully “revened” for the defeat in the Malvinas Islands four years ago, what would all this become?
That game made him an immortal existence in his home country.
One of my most recent projects was to write a biography of Diego, until he retired as a player. Everything else is too private and unbearable to look at. To write this book, I had to visit Fiorito, where it all started. It was early 2020, my last day in Buenos Aires. No one wanted to take me there. In the end, I managed to convince the taxi driver who picked me up when I arrived. He was very nervous.
We were so nervous that we didn’t say a word along the way. The surrounding houses gradually turned into small box-like sheds, surrounded by jagged and incomplete fences, or just overgrown with unmaintained plants. There are many trash cans stacked outside the dilapidated yard, and there are children playing football barefoot.
The streets are getting narrower and narrower, and have become rugged, smoky roads. I guess, when Conejo and Conejo came here for the first time to check his age, there probably isn’t much change here.
We turn right. A man walked in the middle of a narrow road to avoid the rubble piled on both sides. The taxi driver didn’t stop, and he almost didn’t roll down the window, and asked him apologetically where is Diego’s house. “Over there, 200 meters away.” He parked the car outside the first home where Maradona lived. The engine of the car was not turned off.
There has been overgrown with weeds. In this afternoon, towards the back of the grass, you can see a dilapidated bungalow, and the shadows hanging around it. A man in a white vest quickly got up from the rocking chair. “What are you looking for?” “Nothing, sir. My friend wants to come and see…” the taxi driver replied, driving the car and drove away quickly. To the left, I can see a clay court with only one goal.
On the day before his 59th birthday, Maradona took the La Plata Gymnastics Club he was coaching to the home game of his former club, Newell’s old boy (Newell’s old boy). At that time, the home team gave him a “throne”. ”
On the way to that place, there is not even a sign to explain the past of this place and the famous person who has lived here. Moreover, it was completely unknown that anyone wanted to turn this place into a tourist attraction. No one wants to show its suffering.
In reality, this used to be Diego’s home; and after the little boy grew up, Maradona became the king of football, as if he had never lived there in 60 years.
In fact, it is now difficult to find the traces of the former child. Maradona, as the head coach of La Plata gymnastics in Argentina’s first league, has never been away from the big stage.
His life as a player after retirement is at least complicated-as everyone knows, he has at least 11 children, and the relationship between him and his ex-wife Claudia Villafani ended up in court, and he It’s the same with agent and friend Guillermo Coppola.
After leading the national team from 2008 to 2010 and failing to bring out results, he has been the head coach of several club teams-he was very loved when coaching the Mexican team Sinaloa in 2018 and 2019. However, his achievements as a coach have never been close to his height as a player.
He said that he had quit cocaine three years ago, but the drugs he needs now make him often in a state of sedation. He was overweight caused by drug addiction, and he had to undergo multiple operations because he had to play in an age when technical players were not respected and protected. These are the reasons for his poor health.
Maradona confessed that he did not regret his actions. He always understood that life must be lived to the fullest. Because of this, now at the age of 60, he has accumulated much richer life experience than his age, and he may feel that it is a blessing to be alive now.