It’s not often that you get to see an elite scouting report – let alone on one of the greatest players of all time.
And yet, 40 years after it was produced, we can see the scout report of a 17-year-old Diego Maradona.
Not just any report, either, but one from Cesar Luis Menotti, the then-Argentina coach and 1978 World Cup winner.
Menotti was giving the run-down on the teenager for Barcelona, who would pay a world-record fee to sign Maradona in 1982.
At this point, El Diego had been playing for Argentinos Juniors for around two years and was comfortably the most exciting talent in Argentina – probably the world.
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Barca were interested, naturally, and asked Menotti for his thoughts.
The report is broken down into categories (per Marca), such as ‘General Assessment’, ‘Specific Technique’ and ‘Individual Tactics’.
GRADING ASSESSMENT: Very good, extraordinary. Speed 9.5. Starting Speed 9.5. With Ball 9.1. Without Ball 9.5. Agility 9.5. Jump power 8.
MORAL CONDITION: Mental strength 10. Power of suffering 10. Concentration 10. Selfish 0. Personality 10.
GENERAL TECHNIQUE: Unbeatable
SPECIFIED TECHNIQUE: Extraordinary, effective and just dribbling. Excellent power. Extraordinary courage. Extraordinary efficiency. Very good shot. Great passing. Total accuracy. Complete vision. Average heading. Good leadership. Very good power to retain the ball. Extraordinary ball protection.
INDIVIDUAL TACTICS: Complete intelligence in football. Complete sense for football. Good view. Very good speed in efficiency.
GENERAL CONCLUSIONS: Young. He was born on 30/10/1960. He has prodigious technical qualities, easy dribbling. He has a straight line vision facing the goal, but he knows how to get rid of the ball for the best-placed teammate. Extraordinary reflexes. He protects the ball very well to play it immediately with great efficiency. His short passes and shots are pure wonder. Prodigious changes of pace.
It’s difficult to imagine there has ever been a more glowing scout report on any player, ever.
And given that Maradona would develop into arguably the greatest of all-time, there isn’t really any hyperbole.
It’s just quite amazing, given the praise, that Menotti decided not to include Maradona in his World Cup squad that year – something the player would never forgive him for.
Maradona would get his moment eight years later, of course – and no one who saw this report could have been the least bit surprised.