The Argentine made his debut for Argentinos Juniors in 1976 at the age of just 15.
His performances over the next year saw him called up to the Argentina national side, where he made his debut at 16.
By the time he was 17, Maradona was the subject of interest from clubs around the world. One of the many teams that were interested was La Liga giants Barcelona.
Cesar Luis Menotti watched Maradona in action for Argentinos Juniors against Boca Juniors in 1978 and he sent his written report to Barcelona.
To say Menotti was blown away by the teenager would be an understatement.
View what he wrote about Maradona, per Marca, below…
PLAYER REPORT: Diego Armando Maradona
“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.”
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Menotti clearly couldn’t believe what he was seeing from the teenager.
Maradona was just 17 but Menotti rated him highly in almost every aspect of the game.
Four years after the scouting report, Barcelona signed him for £5m, a world-record fee at the time.
He went on to score 38 times in 58 games for the club before leaving for Napoli two years later.