Diego Maradona is a legend in the history of football. He is considered one of the greatest footballers alongside Brazilian legend, Pele. Nicknamed “El Pibe de Oro (The Golden Kid”), he led Argentina to World Cup glory in the 1986 World Cup. Football fans will never forget his legendary goals against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals, one of which goals is dubbed as the “Hand of God”. At the club level, he started his football career at Argentinos Juniors and is well known for his time at Barcelona and Napoli, where he won numerous accolades. He also played for Boca Juniors, Sevilla, and Newell’s Old Boys.
His professional career was affected by several controversies, most by his cocaine addiction. He was even banned from football for 15 months. He later failed to revive his influence on the ground. He retired from international football with 34 goals and retired from professional football with 312 club goals. He scored 354 goals for club and country before retirement. After retirement, he pursued a managerial career. He managed several clubs as well as Argentina’s national football team.
Tragically, the legendary footballer Maradona died of a heart attack on 25 November 2020. Below is the detailed introduction to Maradona’s life story: early life, career, addiction, stats, records, awards, achievements, health issues, death, personal life etc.
What is Diego Maradona Famous For?
- Dubbed as one of the greatest footballers in history.
- Won 2 world cups with Argentina.
- Won several clubs as well as individual accolades.
Where is Diego Maradona From?
Diego Maradona was born on 30 October 1960. His birth name is Diego Armando Maradona. His birth place is in Lanus, Buenos Aires in Argentina. He held Argentine nationality. He was born to a poor family. His hometown is Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires. He was born to a father, Diego Maradona “Chitoro” Sr, and a mother Dalma Salvadora Franco ‘Dona Tota’. He had two younger brothers, Hugo and Raul.
Diego Maradona Career
- Diego Maradona started playing football at an early age. He was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 8 while he was playing in his neighborhood club, Estrella Roja. He quickly became an attraction of the junior team of Buenos Aires’s Argentinos Juniors. He grew up idolizing Brazilian Rivelino and Irish George Best.
- Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors on 20 October 1976, becoming the youngest player in the history of Argentine Primera Division. He scored his debut Primera Division goal against Marplatense on 14 November 1976.
- He spent 5 years with the club from 1976 to 1981. During his time at the club, he scored 115 goals in 167 appearances for the club.
- Having received lucrative offers from several top South American clubs, he chose to make a transfer to Boca Juniors. He signed with the club for $4 million on 20 February 1981. He played only a season at the club, helping the club to win the league title with 28 goals in 40 appearances.
- He then joined Barcelona for a then world-record fee of $7.6 million after the 1982 World Cup. In his two seasons with Barcelona, he scored 38 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. He helped the club to win Copa del Rey, Copa de la Liga, and Supercopa de Espana, all in 1983.
- However, Maradona’s career at Barcelona came to an end when he got involved in a violent clash with opponent players during the club’s fixture against Athletic Bilbao in the 1984 Copa del Rey final. A rough tackle on him by an opponent player made Maradona furious and started the clash. All the players got involved in the brawl. Maradona headbutted, elbowed, punched, kneed, and kicked opponent players. Fans in the stadium threw objects on the field that injured over 60 people. The incident caused Maradona’s transfer out of the club.
- Maradona achieved more success at the club level when he joined the Italian club Napoli in 1984. He had joined the club for a then world-record fee, $10.48 million. He played 7 seasons with the club, winning 2 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, 1 UEFA Cup, and 1 Supercoppa Italiana. He scored 115 goals in 259 all appearances in all competitions for Napoli.
- However, his tenure at Napoli also caused some controversy. His personal problems increased at the time. His substance abuse continued that led him to miss games and training. He also faced the scandal of having an illegitimate son. He was also alleged to have a friendship with the Camorra. He was handed a 15-month ban for failing a drug test for cocaine and left Napoli in disgrace in 1992.
- Maradona then returned to La Liga and joined Sevilla in 1992. For the club, he scored 8 goals in all competitions.
- He did not score any goals during his brief sting at Newell’s Old Boys.
- He returned to his former club, Boca Juniors in 1995. He scored 7 goals after his return to the club.
- He retired from football with 312 club goals in 588 appearances in all competitions.
Maradona International Career
Maradona was an influential player in Argentine football history. He helped Argentina to win FIFA World Youth Championship in 1979. He scored his senior international goal on 2 June 1979 against Scotland. He later went on to represent Argentina in 1979 Copa American, 1982 World Cup, 1986 World Cup, 1990 World Cup, and 1994 World Cup. He led Argentina to world cup glory in 1986.
His first goal against England in the quarterfinal match of the 1986 World Cup became one of the most legendary goals in football history, where he scored the goal with his hand. That goal became known as the “Hand of God”. He scored his second goal of the match running with the ball from his own half, dribbling past five English players. The goal was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA. In 1993, he helped Argentina to win Artemio Franchi Trophy.
He was sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping during the 1994 World Cup. His international career ended after the drug test.
Maradona Managerial Career
Maradona’s managerial career started in 1994. He managed Corrientes in 1994 and Racing Club in 1995. He was named the head coach of the Argentina national team in October 2008. His managerial career with the national team was not fruitful. He had won his first matches as a manager but suffered the worst loss in Argentine history with a 6-1 defeat to Bolivia. He was given a 2-month ban by FIFA after using abusive language at the live post-game press conference during the 2010 World Cup. Argentina later decided not to renew his contract.
He became manager of Dubai club, Al Wash FC in May 2011. He was sacked in July 2012. He then became the assistant coach of the Argentine club Deportivo Riestra in August 2013. He stepped down from his role in 2017 to become the head coach of the UAE second division club, Fujairah. He failed to lead the club to secure a promotion and left the club at the end of the season. He became head coach of the Mexican second division club, Dorados in September 2018. He stepped down from his role after the club failed to secure promotion to the top flight. He became the manager of the Gimnasia de La Plata in September 2019. He had a contract with the club through the 2020-21 season.
Maradona Individual Honors
- Argentine Primera División top scorers: 1978 Metropolitano, 1979 Metropolitano, 1979 Nacional, 1980 Metropolitano, 1980 Nacional
- FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
- FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
- Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
- South American Footballer of the Year: (official award) 1979, 1980
- Olimpia de Oro: 1979, 1986
- Guerin d’Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1985
- UNICEF European Footballer of the Season: 1989–90
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
- FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
- FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986, 1990
- Onze d’Or: 1986, 1987
- L’Équipe Champion of Champions: 1986
- United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
- World Soccer magazine’s Player of the Year: 1986
- Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
- Coppa Italia top scorer: 1987–88
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
- FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
- South American Team of the Year: 1995
- Ballon d’Or for services to football (France Football): 1995
- World Team of the 20th Century: 1998
- World Soccer magazine’s Greatest Players of the 20th century: (#2) 1999
- Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century: 1999
- Marca Leyenda: 1999
- Number 10 retired by Napoli football team as a recognition to his contribution to the club: 2000
- FIFA Player of the Century: 2000
- FIFA Goal of the Century (for his second goal against England in 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final): 2002
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2002
- Golden Foot: 2003, as football legend
- FIFA 100 Greatest Living Players: 2004
- Argentine Senate “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento” recognition for lifetime achievement: 2005
- Greatest Footballers in World Cup History: No. 1, by The Times, 2010
- Best Athlete in History: No. 1, by Corriere dello Sport – Stadio, 2012
- Globe Soccer Awards Player Career Award: 2012
- World Soccer magazine’s Greatest XI of all time: 2013
- Greatest Football Players of All-Time: No. 1 by FourFourTwo magazine, 2017
- Greatest Football Players in World Cup History: No. 1, by FourFourTwo magazine, 2018
- Napoli all-time Top Scorer (1991–2017)
- Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2014
- AFA Team of All Time: 2015
- L’Équipe’s top 50 South-American footballers in history: #2
- International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) Legends
Diego Maradona Wife
Diego Maradona married Claudia Villafane on 7 November 1984. The couple shared two daughters, Dalma Nerea and Gianinna Dinorah. The couple divorced in 2004. He admitted that he is the father of Diego Sinagra during his divorce proceedings. He had refused to undergo DNA tests in 1993. He met his son, Diego for the first time in 2003. He also has two more children, Diego Fernando and Jana from his other relationships. He was engaged to Rocio Oliva from 2014 to 2018.
Diego Maradona Height
Diego Maradona stood at a height of 1.65 m i.e. 5 feet and 5 inches tall. He had an average body build. He had a tendency to put on weight and suffered increasingly from obesity. He weighed 280 lbs at one point. He underwent gastric bypass surgery in March 2005. His eye color was dark brown and his hair color was black. His sexual orientation was straight.
Diego Maradona death
The legendary footballer Diego Maradona left the world on 25 November 2020. He died of a heart attack at his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He died at the age of 60. He was admitted to a hospital for psychological reasons on 2 November 2020. He had undergone emergency brain surgery to treat a subdural hematoma. He was released after successful surgery. He was previously claimed to be dead three times within a month in April 2007.
Diego Maradona Net Worth
Diego Maradona was one of the highest-earning footballers of his time. He set a transfer-record when he joined Barcelona for $7.6 million. He set another transfer record when he joined Napoli for $10.48 million. He had endorsement deals with several companies including Puma and Coca-Cola. He earned an additional $1.5 million from his endorsements. He has appeared in several commercials and video games.
Following his retirement from professional football, he started a managerial career, that added some to his fortune. However, in March 2009, Italian officials announced that Maradona still owed the Italian government €37 million in local taxes, €23.5 million of which was accrued interest on his original debt. in 2009, Italian police seized a pair of earrings worth £3,600 from Maradona in a bid to recover unpaid taxes from his time at Napoli. Three years prior to this, the police took two Rolex watches worth 10,000 euros. However, his net worth at the time of his death was reported at only $100,000.