The carrière of Diego Armando Maradona in 5 acts

1. Boca Junior, 1981

When we think of Diego Maradona, we remember him wearing the jersey of Argentina, Naples, but also Boca Juniors. “El Pibe de oro” (“the golden kid”) has however spent only a good season in the club of Buenos Aires. After making his debut for Argentinos, he signed there in 1981, at the age of 20. In 40 games with the occupants of the Bombonera, he scored 28 goals, was named captain and won the championship.
He distinguished himself above all against the great rival, River Plate. On April 10, 1981, the enemy was humiliated 3-0, with a great match of el Pibe de oro. His goal taken in small steps, almost quietly, after having dribbled the goalkeeper and without worrying about the last defender, then shows how much he walks on the football of his country. At the end of his career, he came back for a last lap, in 1995-1997, but he was no longer the same man.

2. The hand of god, 1986

Five minutes that make the history of a man: June 22, 1986, Diego Maradona faces England in the quarter-final of the World Cup, in the Azteca stadium, in the heat of Mexico. The match is tense, four years after the Falklands War, politics mingle with football. 51st minute of play: the two teams are tied 0-0. Diego Maradona scores a first hand goal. The Tunisian referee sees nothing. No time to breathe. 56th minute of play: the number 10 starts from the middle of his camp, makes love to half a dozen Englishmen and scores a second goal. At the end of the match, he returned to the first pawn in his own way. Diego Maradona spoke of the “hand of God”. Years later, the second pawn was voted “goal of the century”.

3. A god in Naples, 1987

May 10, 1987: the dream becomes reality. Napoli receives Fiorentina to materialize its first historic Scudetto. He needs a small point to finish ahead of Michel Platini’s Juventus. The victory of the South of the “poor” against the North of the “rich” was unimaginable. She owes this success to Diego Maradona. The Argentinian was a star; that night he became eternal. A title that will trigger madness in the city. All over. On the walls of the cemetery, one can read a message addressed to the dead: “You don’t know what you’re missing.” The next day, another inscription will appear just below: “Are you sure we missed it?”

4. Argentina-Greece, 1994.

In 1994, Maradona was in decline. He left Naples in 1991 where he was sentenced to a fifteen month suspension, and failed to bounce back in Seville in Spain or at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina. Cocaine, overweight, excess… It is announced finished for football. But he was still selected for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. During the first match against Greece, it’s a rebirth: after a succession of delicious one-two, his shot at the entrance to the area will curl up in the opposing window. The supporters celebrate the prodigal son, without knowing that this is his last goal for the Argentine team. A few days later and a match against Nigeria, he tested positive for ephedrine and excluded. After 91 selections, we will never see him again in the white and sky striped jersey.

5. World Cup 2010

If the French were traumatized by the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the Knysna episode, even if it means forgetting all the rest of this competition, the Argentines do not have good memories either. In 2008, Maradona was appointed coach of the Albiceleste. This is his first real experience and from the start, it goes wrong. For the position, he does not have the level. Despite the quality of the workforce, the team continues indigent matches. Relations are abysmal with the press, to the point that Maradona launches, during a cult press conference, after the qualification obtained narrowly: “You just have to come and suck me. To all those who mistreated me, come and suck me off. “

At the World Cup, surprisingly, the beginnings are promising. Until the quarter-finals and a humiliation against Germany (0-4), signing the end of his mandate. His other coaching experiences, in modest clubs, will be failures. Paul Gilham FIFA

Rachid Laïreche


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Quentin Girard

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