Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentine professional football player and manager. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. Maradona’s vision, passing, ball control, and dribbling skills were combined with his small stature (1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in), which gave him a low centre of gravity allowing him to maneuver better than most other football players; he would often dribble past multiple opposing players on a run.
His presence and leadership on the field had a great effect on his team’s general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. In addition to his creative abilities, he possessed an eye for goal and was known to be a free-kick specialist. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Kid”), a name that stuck with him throughout his career. An advanced playmaker who operated in the classic number 10 position.
Maradona was the first player in football history to set the world record transfer fee twice, first when he transferred to Barcelona for a then-world record £5 million, and second, when he transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9 million. He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, and Newell’s Old Boys during his club career, and is most famous for his time at Napoli and Barcelona where he won numerous accolades.
In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. In the 1986 World Cup quarter final, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history for two different reasons.
The first goal was an unpenalized handling foul known as the “Hand of God”, while the second goal followed a 60 m (66 yd) dribble past five England players, voted “Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002. Maradona became the coach of Argentina’s national football team in November 2008. He was in charge of the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before leaving at the end of the tournament. He then coached Dubai-based club Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League for the 2011–12 season.
In 2017, Maradona became the coach of Fujairah before leaving at the end of the season. In May 2018, Maradona was announced as the new chairman of Belarusian club Dynamo Brest. He arrived in Brest and was presented by the club to start his duties in July. From September 2018 to June 2019, Maradona was coach of Mexican club Dorados. He was the coach of Argentine Primera División club Gimnasia de La Plata from 2019 until his death in 2020.
Some of the best quotes from Diego Maradona are listed below.
- “All the people who criticised me should eat their words.” – Diego Maradona
- “He feels the ball and that is the difference from the rest.” – Diego Maradona
- “He is not having problems coping, and he carries the ball on his instep, with the only problem being the speed he is going.” – Diego Maradona
- “He’s a leader and is offering classes in beautiful football. He has something different to any other player in the world.” – Diego Maradona
- “He’s a leader and is offering lessons in beautiful football. He has something different to any other player in the world.” – Diego Maradona
- “I am black or white, I’ll never be grey in my life.” – Diego Maradona
- “I am Maradona, who makes goals, who makes mistakes. I can take it all, I have shoulders big enough to fight with everybody.” – Diego Maradona
- “I certainly have an advantage over some, because I can pass on so much from the World Cups I played in.” – Diego Maradona
- “I gave all I had. Now I want to enjoy my family.” – Diego Maradona
- “I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me and no one came. I told them, ‘Come hug me or the referee isn’t going to allow it.” – Diego Maradona
- “I’m alive and I want to keep living.” – Diego Maradona
- “I’m not desperate but I know that someday I’ll be the coach again of some team.” – Diego Maradona
- “I’ve come to add something and not to take away anyone’s position.” – Diego Maradona
- “If I could apologise and go back and change history I would do. But the goal is still a goal, Argentina became world champions and I was the best player in the world.” – Diego Maradona
- “If you don’t want to play clean football, then go up into the stands.” – Diego Maradona
- “It is an honour for me to be here. I hope I can repay the trust this club has placed in me.” – Diego Maradona
- “It’s a lot of fun to watch him play. He does incredible things with the ball.” – Diego Maradona
- “Messi scores a goal and celebrates. Cristiano scores a goal and poses like he’s in a shampoo commercial.” – Diego Maradona
- “Money is not a motivating factor. I do what comes to me at that moment.” – Diego Maradona
- “My mother thinks I am the best. And I was raised to always believe what my mother tells me.” – Diego Maradona
- “Of course in the first matches you are more careful, perhaps more careful than you should be.” – Diego Maradona
- “The Lords helps those who help themselves.” – Diego Maradona
- “The problem is that they are all stars at Madrid. You need someone to carry the water to the well.” – Diego Maradona
- “There would be no debate about who was the best footballer the world had ever seen – me or Pele. Everyone would say me.” – Diego Maradona
- “Things are neither clear nor clean in the world of football right now and many people recognise this reality.” – Diego Maradona
- “This is a day of great happiness. These guys are true champions, a great team.” – Diego Maradona
- “To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt.” – Diego Maradona
- “To see the ball, to run after it, makes me the happiest man in the world.” – Diego Maradona
- “When God decides its time, I guess he’ll come for us.” – Diego Maradona
- “When I wear the national team shirt, its sole contact with my skin makes it stand on an end.” – Diego Maradona
- “When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.” – Diego Maradona
- “When you win, you don’t get carried away. But if you go step by step, with confidence, you can go far.” – Diego Maradona
- “While the coach is entitled to celebrate the team’s victories, there is a manner and a way of doing so without aggravating the opponent.” – Diego Maradona
- “You are an example for him because you are a conqueror.” – Diego Maradona
- “You can say a lot of things about me, but you can never say I don’t take risks.” – Diego Maradona