The genius of Diego Maradona was enfolded in complexity.
Argentina, his homeland, have announced a three-day period of national mourning following the tragic news of his passing at the age of 60.
Some of his greatest moments graced the pitches of Europe, in Barcelona and in Napoli. But it’s impossible to encapsulate the extent to which he was revered by his own compatriots.
In addition to his unrivalled quality as a player, one of the Golden Boy’s most endearing qualities was his candidness.
Maradona never shied away from speaking only about the demons with which he battled throughout his colourful life.
While he was deified throughout his career, he also showed vulnerability and never more so than in his recent interview with Argentine publication Clarin, which proved to be his last.
Maradona’s final interview
“Sometimes I wonder if people will still love me,” in quotes translated by the Mirror.
“I am going to be eternally grateful to the people. Every day they surprise me, what I experienced in this return to Argentine football I will never forget.
“It exceeded what I could imagine. Because I was out for a long time and sometimes one wonders if people will still love me, if they will continue to feel the same.
“When I entered the field in Gimnasia on the day of the presentation I felt that love with people is never going to end.
“I went and I am very happy. Soccer gave me everything I have, more than I ever imagined. And if I hadn’t had that addiction, I could have played a lot more.
“But today that is past, I am fine and what I regret the most is not having my parents. Always make that wish, one more day with Tota but I know that from heaven she is proud of me and that she was very happy.”
Maradona’s love affair with Argentina was a two-way affair and he also spoke about his hopes for the future.
“I want all Argentines to be well, we have a beautiful country and I trust that our President will be able to get us out of this moment.
“It makes me very sad when I see children who do not have enough to eat, I know what it is to go hungry, I know what it feels like to feel when you do not eat for several days and that cannot happen in my country.
“That is my wish, to see the Argentines happy, with work and eating every day.”