by Tom Athron ‘21
Published Dec. 22nd, 2020
On November 25, 2020, the world lost one of the greatest sports stars of all time.
Diego Armando Maradona, Argentinian legend and one of world soccer’s greats, tragically passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 60.
Tributes from fans and players alike poured in from across the globe as the soccer world honored one of it’s most treasured heroes.
The Argentine played professional soccer from 1976 to 1997, scoring 259 times in 491 club matches, while scoring 34 goals in 94 appearances with the Argentine national team.
Maradona became a beloved national hero in his native Argentina after guiding “La Albiceleste,” the Argentinian national football team, to a FIFA World Cup title at the 1986 tournament in Mexico.
Throughout that tournament, Maradona wowed crowds all over the world with his exciting style of play and incredible ball handling skills. He scored what was labeled “The Goal of the Century” during Argentina’s quarter-final matchup against England shortly after scoring the infamous “Hand of God” goal in Argentina’s 2-1 victory.
On the club level, Maradona made a name for himself playing throughout both his native country as well as in Europe for FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli.
It would be at Napoli where Maradona would reach the pinnacle of his playing career, guiding the unfancied Naples side to two Serie A titles and the 1989 UEFA Cup. Maradona became such a Napoli legend that his number 10 shirt was retired by the club following his retirement. The club stadium is now renamed the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in his honor.
Off the pitch, Maradona struggled with drug issues. Cocaine usage began throughout his time at Barcelona and he was fully addicted by the time he was playing in Italy. Failed drug tests would result in him being sent home from the 1994 USA World Cup.
However, he was, and will forever remain, a national hero of Argentina. And he will forever live long in the memory of all who witnessed his brilliance.
RIP Diego Armando Maradona