Diminutive in stature, but a colossus of the game. Diego Maradona has left a legacy like no other.
The man behind football’s most epic life has passed away in Argentina at the age of 60.
The world has been paying tribute to an icon, one considered by many to be the greatest of all time.
As much as his remarkable ability with the ball glued to his feet as he wriggled through defences, Maradona will also be remembered for his extraordinary personality.
While parts of his life were overshadowed by personal struggle, he was also a man who never ceased to be a talking point.
An entertainer on and off the pitch, here at GIVEMESPORT we’ve been reliving some of his most memorable moments.
Walking out of FIFA’s ceremony
Maradona was a vocal critic of FIFA’s politics on many occasions. That struck close to home when he attended a ceremony where he was to be crowned ‘Player of the Century’, an award which had been decided by a public vote. He had beaten Pele, but FIFA had then added a second award, which a committee gave to his Brazilian rival. As soon as he had picked up his own accolade, he went home.
Fighting Athletic Bilbao players after the game
Maradona spent two years with Barcelona but one of his most memorable moments came at the end of the final of the 1984 Copa del Rey. It had been an incredibly heated match against Athletic Bilbao, and the bad blood spilled over with the Argentine hurling himself into a number of karate-kicks.
Managing Gimnasia from his own throne
Newell’s Old Boys, who had been his second to last club as a player, gave him the chair to sit on at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa when he was managing their opponents Gimnasia.
Swearing at the cameras after Argentina were booed
Argentina’s national anthem was booed at the 1990 World Cup final, with many having criticised the team’s negative brand of football. Maradona, quite understandably took exception to that disrespect from the German-supporting crowd, and hit back by twice shouting “hijos de puta” into the camera.
His quotes on being a father
“My legitimate kids are Dalma and Giannina. The rest are a product of my money and mistakes.” Enough said.
Diving into a puddle after late goal vs Peru
After Martin Palermo’s last-minute goal against Peru sent Argentina through to the 2010 World Cup, their manager channeled his inner Jurgen Klinsmann and dived belly-first into a puddle.
Running over a journalist’s foot
Then, at the tournament proper, he added insult to injury (quite literally) when, per the Telegraph, he ran his car over a journalist’s foot and then shouted “a**hole!” at him.
‘Mistaking’ Thomas Muller for a ballboy
Thomas Müller, back then, was still an up-and-coming player but was due to share a press conference with the Argentina boss. Unfortunately, as reported in the Independent at the time, he refused to speak “until that ballboy leaves the room”.
Lashing out at a coach while managing Al Wasl
Al Ain’s manager, Cosmin Olaroiu, went a little over the top with his celebrations when Maradona was managing Al Wasl in the Middle East and prompted a furious reaction.
His ‘suck it’ rant after qualifying for the 2010 World Cup
“To those who did not believe in us – and ladies forgive me – they can suck my —- and keep on sucking it,” he said. FIFA weren’t impressed and banned him for two months.
Smashing a photographer’s car window
In 2000, one photographer had clearly gone too far as he chased the football icon for a picture. Maradona responded by punching his car window and shattering the glass. Then again, that wasn’t the first time he had shown his disdain for the media…
Aiming a rifle at reporters
From the age of 15, Maradona attracted a phenomenal amount of attention. However, in 1994, the invasions of his privacy finally led to him striking back. When reporters hounded him outside his home in Moreno, he opened fire. Some of the journalists suffered minor injuries.
Hand of God
On Argentina’s journey towards World Cup glory, Maradona scored two of the most famous goals in football history in one match. His ‘Goal of the Century’ bamboozled half the England team, but if anything it’s been eclipsed in folklore by the ‘Hand of God’. He had clearly handled the ball past Peter Shilton and said afterwards that the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”. He also said knocking England out was revenge for the Falklands War.
Farewell, Diego. A man like no other.