Jersey No 10: The Maradona Biography
|Name:||Diego Armando Maradona.|
|Birth date:||October 30, 1960.|
|Birthplace:||Villa Fiorito, Buenos Aires.|
|Breakthrough:||Attracting the attention of Francis Cornejo, the coach of the youth team Argentinos Juniors when he was 9.|
The Hand of God
Who can forget the Hand of God in the 1986 football World Cup? This Maradona biography brings out controversial facts surrounding Diego Armando Maradona, one the most famous Spanish athletes ever produced.
Born on October 30, 1961, Diego Armando Maradona came from a poor family. He grew up in the slums of Villa Fiorita near Buenos Aires. His parents struggled to bring up a family of eight siblings. This Maradona biography reveals how as a young boy, Maradona dreamed of playing soccer.
Young Maradona got his first football when he was just three. Entranced by the ball, he slept with it that night. When he was nine, Francis Cornejo, the coach of the youth team Argentinos Juniors or Little Onions as they were called, noticed his soccer skills. That is how Maradona started playing for the Little Onions.
The Beginnings of a Soccer Star
It is interesting to read in this Maradona biography how he ended up wearing Jersey Number 10. The team won a phenomenal 140 straight games in 1972 with Maradona playing; he lead the team to win a junior championship. The team presented him with Jersey Number 10; the number of the great Pelé and the ultimate compliment for any soccer player.
When Maradona played for the Argentinos Juniors the stadiums were Jam packed revealing his growing popularity. He was associated with this team from 1976 to 1980.
For Maradona football represented a way to freedom from poverty. When he was just 21, Barcelona bought Maradona for a record $7.7 million. This deal made him headline news all over the world.
Maradona made efforts to play for the Argentinian national soccer team in 1978 and 1982 but was disappointed. Cesar Menotti, the Argentinean coach for the World cup team, cut short Maradonas dreams to play in the 1978 World Cup. In 1982, he kicked a player from Brazil in the groin and was expelled from the game. He finally got his chance in 1986.
The 1986 Soccer World Cup
The 1986 World Cup was a challenging phase in Maradonas career. This Maradona biography brings out the details. He was 25 years old and a name to reckon with millions of fans all over the world.
While playing against England, he scored two goals. The first one was scored with his hand. Maradona said that the goal was “un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios” which translates: a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God. This created a huge controversy.
Maradonas second goal, as described in this Maradona biography, earned him a permanent place in the history of soccer. In the words of Carlos Bilardo, the coach of the Argentinean team, It is the second time in my life I have celebrated a goal with a scream. It was spectacular.”
Maradona became world famous after Argentina won the World Cup in 1986. Despite the Hand of God incident against England, the British named him “athlete of the decade.” Maradona continued as a member of the Argentinean team in the 1990 World Championship. Despite Maradonas poor performance, Argentina won over Yugoslavia in the semifinals.
The subsequent years were turbulent. Maradona commanded huge paychecks, became a drug addict and had two paternity suits filed against him. He had two children out of wedlock. Rumors said he was closely associated with the mob.
Maradona married his childhood sweetheart Claudia Villafañe in 1989. The wedding was a major extravaganza and the newspapers criticized him. In spite of all this, as the New York Times stated on November 14, 2001, Maradona may only be a shadow of his old self, but he still has the strongest hold over his people of any living Argentine.
His iconic status comes out clearly in this Maradona biography. Maradona is indeed one of the most famous Spanish athletes. And despite the many controversies, Maradona is a legend and continues to have millions of fans all over the world. As Marcela Mora y Araujo rightly puts it, Indeed Maradona is a living legend.
Maradona Photos and Memorabilia
There is no doubt Maradona continues to be a legend in soccer. One of the most valuable items of Mardadona memorabilia are Maradona’s signed photos and articles.
Here I have selected a few Maradona photos that bring us back to the day in 1986 when that incredible goal was scored. My favorite is the one is the Maradona autographed photo of him holding the world cup trophy and being carried on his teammates’ shoulders.