Diego Maradona a black devil and a white angel in one body, He lived like a lion. Diego Maradona a black devil and a white angel in one body, He lived like a lion. - Gistmattaz Ng : Nigeria News | Latest Naija News Today 24/7

Diego Maradona a black devil and a white angel in one body, He lived like a lion.

 Diego Armando Maradona has passed away ! One by one, the legends with which our generations grew up are leaving. Whether it's sports, music, film… The news of the death of the heroes of our time used to shock me, many moments flew through my mind, many beautiful and crazy things were done to Bowie's or Lemmy's beats, but few shocked me just like this .

Football is the biggest religion after all, and for football fanatics on all meridians, Maradona, whether you like it or not, has always been an inexhaustible topic. He was never my favorite, Brazil and Zico have always been dearer to me, but the respect has always been huge.

Messi will never even touch it

A unique career, a unique life. . Like few others controversial, empathetic and rude at the same time, ingenious and contradictory. If the one famous by Dostoevsky is valid for anyone, then it is Maradona. His soul and heart were a real battlefield, an eternal clash of good and evil. Gone are hell and heaven. Here on Earth.

Both on and off the field - simply different. Never boring, never sterile. From the hell of drugs and immense fame grew an almost unseen charisma. Something that, for example, one Messi will never even touch.

Tracts have already been written about Maradona, documentaries have been made, and countless works are yet to follow. He was and will remain an inspiration to millions. In my journalistic career, I have written many articles about Maradona. I will single out the parts to my own taste.

Borges considered professional football immoral, and his antipathies to the most popular sport and its protagonists, he would surely have deepened had he not passed away a month before Argentina, led by Maradona, reached their second 1986 World Cup title in Mexico.

The question is what Borges, whose grandmother was an Englishwoman, would say about El Diego’s “God’s Hand” and especially about the footballer’s lifestyle that many consider the best of all time. There has not been a footballer in the rich history of football who has divided the world public so much. For some he is a hero, a genius, a fighter for justice, and even an idealized saint, and for others a deceiver, clown, redicule, drug addict, in short, a man immoral to the core, but still no one denies him that he is a footballer rarely born.

Church of Diego Maradona

Had Borges lived a few more years, he might have immortalized Maradona in one of his metaphysical stories, in which he often mixed real facts and fiction, reality and dream, where he gave his heroes fantastic qualities, just about anything that can be found in Maradona's life, which seems to be out of reality, beyond, as if a character from a fairy tale, a mythological being, which is supported by the fact that in Rosario in 2003, for Maradona's 43rd birthday, two hundred fanatics founded the Church of Diego Maradona, which today has several dozen thousands of members, and some say they will reach millions after death.

The undisputed idol of Argentina

Maradona is without a doubt one of the best footballers of all time, he has enjoyed the status of an international superstar since the beginning of the eighties, and in Argentina he is much more than that. After taking Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico with great games, Maradona became an undisputed idol in that country, overshadowing one Evita Peron, until Maradona's greatest favorite of the Argentine masses.

From the slums of Villa Fiorita, a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where he was born on October 30, 1960, he rose to become a football deity.

In Mexico, it came closest to the sun

At the World Cup, Mexico came closest to the Sun, followed by a steep decline that was halted by the decision of the all-powerful president of the Argentine Football Association, Julius Gordon, to appoint him Argentina's coach ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Maradona continued to slide towards the abyss, but also entering the legend.

"Poor old Diego. All these years we've been telling him, 'You're a god, you're the biggest star.' Valdano, Maradona's teammate at the 1986 World Cup and a former Real Madrid star, while Maradona was in critical condition in a hospital in Buenos Aires after suffering a severe heart attack from a cocaine overdose.

Maradona touched the bottom at that moment, he was one step closer to death. On the eve of the 2010 World Cup, he told Susanna Gimenez, the host of one of the most watched TV shows in Argentina, that he has been clean for six years.

Outbursts of anger

"I don't do drugs thanks to my daughters. Today I finally appreciate everything I have," Maradona said, recalling the days when he looked death in the eye:

"My daughter Dalma told me that my other daughter Giannina hugged me convulsively begging me to survive while I was in a coma. She said it didn't matter what I had done until then, because she needed me as a parent. Then I said to myself, ' That's enough. '"

Maradona looked quite decent physically at the time, but his sudden outbursts of anger, especially at reporters after whom he explicitly told him after the victory in Montevideo and placement at the World Cup that "I can smoke", some analysts questioned his sincerity when he said that left drugs. He showed this shortly after when he drove over the feet of one of the journalists who were waiting for him on the way out of the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association.

A whirlwind of white powder

"Asshole, you put your foot under the car when you see me passing by," Maradona said to the unfortunate journalist through the car window.

He later said that he would run naked around El Obelisco in the center of Buenos Aires if Argentina won the title, and that appearing in public without clothes is not foreign to him, he showed when he was photographed completely naked for the Argentine football magazine El Grafico. Just like a drug addict, Maradona’s mood went from apathy and destruction to ecstasy and euphoria, so it came back in a few moments in the opposite direction.

Maradona’s cocaine addiction probably dates back to the early ’80s. It has long been written that he fell into a "whirlwind of white powder" when he moved from Barcelona to Napoli in 1984 for an then unheard of $ 12 million, but that he took drugs while still playing in Barcelona, ​​revealed Barcelona's greatest president, at least until the appearance of Joan Laporte , Josep Lluís Núñez.

While Ronaldinho was on the verge of leaving Camp Nou in 2008, the Madrid media "lit a fire" with a series of articles about how Barcelona is unable to keep its biggest players, citing Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Bernd Schuster as examples and Diego the most Maradona, who according to the official version left Barcelona in 1984 due to the conflict with the then President Núñez.

On the "white" of the twenties 

"It is true that we were in conflict, but the only question is why. I will tell you why: because I did not want to have a drug addict in the club," said the provoked Núñez, thus confirming what has been whispered for years.

Maradona drowned in cocaine while he was still in Barcelona, ​​and apparently he got addicted to "white" while playing for Boca Juniors, which he transferred to from Argentinos Juniors in 1981 for a million and a half dollars. With barely 21 years of age in 1982, he went to Barcelona, ​​in a transfer worth 7.7 million dollars, which at that time was the largest compensation amount in the history of football.

Maradona was already a big star at that moment, an unprecedented pomp was forming around him that he was obviously not up to.

He was born into a very poor, ten-member family who lived in three rooms in the straw of Buenos Aires. Football was his only chance to escape poverty. As a boy he cheered for the Independiente but never played for that club from Buenos Aires.

When he was nine, his football talent was spotted by the coach of Los Cebollitas, the Argentinos Juniors youth team, Francis Cornejo. With Los Cebollitas, Maradona won the Argentine Championship at his age until 1972. At that point, it was clear that Diego Maradona, then 12, could become a great footballer.

Small height and fragile build

But the coaches feared that because of their small height and fragile build, they would not break into professionals, so the story goes that they sought help from a doctor in Buenos Aires who was a specialist in steroid use.

Maradona reportedly received “injection cocktails” as a boy to increase muscle mass. Ten days before he turned 16, he became the youngest footballer in Argentine history to play in their elite league, surpassing that success in 2003 by Sergio Agüero, who entered the game in just over 15 years in one Independiente game.

Maradona then resented the then Independiente coach and his best friend from playing days and teammate with the 1986 World Cup, Oscar Ruggeri, believing that Kuna Agüera was brought into the game only to ruin his venture, because later in the season Kun was not even close to the first teams.

This is just another proof of Maradona's great vanity, which is so great that he often knew how to talk about himself in the third person. By a play of fate, Agüero would later marry Maradona's younger daughter Gianinna, with whom he had a son, Benjamin, in February 2009.

It is interesting that Maradona's older daughter Dalma Nerea was also in a relationship with the famous Argentine football player Andres D'Alessandro.

The disappointment of 1978.

Maradona first played for the Argentine national team in February 1977 at the age of 16, and suffered the first heavy blow in his career in 1978 when Menotti did not invite him to the national team because, in his opinion, he was too young.

"I know what it's like for players when they realize they're not in the squad for the World Cup. I experienced that in 1978, I cried for days," Maradona said before publishing an expanded list for the World Cup in South Africa, which caused a lot of controversy at the time. .

He became an international star of Maradona in 1979 when he took Argentina to the junior title of world champion in Japan. He was then named the best player of the tournament, and that year he was also named the best player of Argentina and South America. That’s when I first heard of him as a six-year-old boy infected with football.

Transfer to Bottle

Two years later with Boca Juniors he won the Argentine title. Some say that from that moment on, the pressure from the public and the media became difficult for Maradona to withstand, so he started resorting to cocaine use. An additional impetus for cocaine consumption was the disappointment at the 1982 World Cup. Maradona arrived at the 1982 World Cup in Spain as one of the biggest stars of the tournament.

Along with Brazilian Zico, Frenchman Michel Platini and German Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Maradona was most expected, but in the second round Argentina ran into the biggest favorite of the tournament, Brazil, who humiliated their biggest rival with 3: 1, and annoyed Maradona for five minutes. before the end of the match he earned a red card after hitting Joao Batista in karate style.

Moving to Barcelona

Zico was once again better than Maradona, whom he outplayed a year earlier in the match between Flamengo and Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores. This further shook Maradona’s huge ego as he competed with Zico for the title of best player in the world.

It later turned out that this outburst of rage, when he bloodily struck his opponent in helplessness, was not an isolated case and that Maradona was clearly having problems with self-control. However, at the time, there was no talk that Maradona's behavior was partly due to cocaine use.

By moving to Barcelona in 1982, in the biggest transfer in history, Maradona achieved superstar status. In Spain, he was greeted by a huge expectation from an army of millions of Barcelona fans, who asked Maradona to end Real Madrid 's dominance by winning the state title, which Barca has not won since 1974.

Visiting Belgrade and the famous goal

In the fall of 1982, Maradona was a guest of Belgrade with Barcelona, ​​in the 2nd round of the Cup Winners' Cup, Barcelona played with Crvena zvezda. The author of this text remembers the great pomp that accompanied the arrival of Maradona in Belgrade, he was talked about as an alien, Zvezda center forward Dule Savić said that he looked at him in a miracle while he took off his tracksuit the day before the game and at the same time in a sitting position. position technique with the ball.

Even then, in some circles close to Zvezda, far from the media, there was quiet talk about Maradona's passion for beautiful women, but also about some other "hidden inclinations".

In that match, Maradona raised Maracana to its feet with a great goal, perhaps the best in the history of the largest Serbian stadium. He pulled the ball from some thirty meters from the goal of Zvezda, and then he lobbed the running Diko Stojanović from twenty meters. The star lost 4: 2, and 90,000 spectators applauded the move for a few minutes

"Bilbao Butcher" broke Diego

However, although he had German teammate Bernd Schuster as his teammate in the team, Maradona failed to lead Barcelona to the Spanish title in two seasons. Surprisingly, he was not hindered by Real Madrid, but by the Basque great Athletic and the famous "butcher from Bilbao" Andoni Goikoetxe, who broke his leg in September 1983 with a dangerous start at Camp Nou, and later seriously injured Schuster.

According to some sources, Goikoetxe still keeps the football boot with which he "tore" Maradona's ankle. Doctors predicted Maradona's long absence from the field, but the Argentine showed considerable toughness and returned in the second part of the season.

He also reportedly cut short his time with cocaine during his recovery, but he does not appear to have been addicted yet. At the end of the season, Athletic and Barcelona found themselves in the King's Cup final.

Athletic came out as the winner again, winning a double crown that season, but that game is more remembered for the unprecedented fight of players at the end of the game. Of course, Maradona was in the foreground, showing that there is great strength hidden in the small body, but also a huge, uncontrollable rage that will accompany him until today.

Record transfer to Napoli  

Due to the described conflict with President Núñez, Maradona decided to move to Napoli in 1984. And in hot Naples, everything good starts, but also bad things he did in his career and life. At the San Paolo Stadium, where he arrived by helicopter from the airport, he was greeted by 80,000 people.

That transfer was sensational not only because it broke the transfer record again but also the fact that the biggest football star is moving to a historically mediocre Italian club, which had never won the Italian championship before.

The Italian elite league at the time was the strongest in the world, investment in football was enormous, but the primacy was held by clubs from northern Italy Juventus, Inter and Milan, and the only club from the south that could cloud their accounts was Roma, who won the championship in 1983.

Madness in Naples

But Naples is the third largest city in Italy, with a large stadium, so some businessmen, some linked to the Naples mafia organization Camorra, decided to invest in Naples, headed by then-President Corrado Ferlaino.

Barcelona received 12 million, and Maradona was promised to earn at least 26 million dollars in nine years, some sources claim that in the first four years he should earn seven million dollars per year, plus three million promised by Italian television, and five million from Hitachi club sponsor.

Maradona had a special relationship with his manager Jorge Cyterszpiler who had impressed him since he was 14 years old. Apparently they never signed contracts, they agreed everything by the handshake, and that ultimately resulted, as Maradona himself admitted in his autobiography, in El Diego’s bankruptcy in the mid-1990s. Cyterszpiler has invested Maradona’s money in dubious businesses in Paraguay, but Maradona points out that each investment was his personal decision.

Champions of Italy

A few weeks after Maradona moved to Napoli, fans snatched up 70,000 subscriber tickets. In the first season, Napoli was in the middle of the table, but already in the second season it was at the top. In 1986, Maradona became world champion with Argentina and after Pele, the eternal rival in the race for the best of all time, he became the first footballer to be named Athlete of the Year by the International Olympic Committee.

A year later, Napoli with Maradona became the champion of Italy for the first time and won the Italian Cup, which failed any team from the Italian south. Maradona becomes an icon of Naples, the leader of the poor South in an eternal confrontation with the rich North, they give him the nickname San Diego.

What a riot in the city under Mount Vesuvius was best seen in the tenth anniversary of the event, when Rai Uno released a recording of all the reports from the matches of that season, followed by the doyen of Italian sports journalism Giampiero Galleazi.

"Dead, you don't know what you missed"

After winning the title of champion at the central Neapolitan cemetery, a 50-meter banner appeared: "Dead, you don't know what you missed." That season, 70,000 people used to gather in Naples for training, and Maradona was followed by a crowd of journalists.

It was an unprecedented pressure on the then, according to the International Management Group, a large production house from New York, the most famous person on Earth. IMG reportedly offered Maradona $ 100 million to buy the rights in his name, but on the condition that he take dual citizenship, but Maradona rejected the proposal for what he said were patriotic reasons.

In the  jaws of the mafia 

Maradona had a special chapter in the Neapolitan story with the bosses of the Camorra. He admitted that he was offered gifts every now and then, such as Rolex and Ferrari, but said he refused all offers.

"The old rule is that when they offer you something, they will surely ask for something in return," says Maradona, but some claim that this was not the case and that Maradona took gifts, and it is not difficult to guess from whom he procured cocaine. -these used as "children candy". Napoli also won the first European Uefa Cup trophy in 1989, beating Stuttgart in the final, and a year later the second Italian title, but then he had stars like Brazilians Careca and Alemao in the team in addition to Maradona. 

A million dollars per game

Even then, Maradona's first clashes with the leaders of Napoli took place, and his cocaine consumption took on addictive proportions. The conflict deepened after Argentina knocked the host out of the semi-finals of the World Cup penalty shootout at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Maradona has become the most hated person in Italy, he often misses training, misses matches under the pretext that he is under a lot of stress, so the club decides on financial penalties.

He was fined $ 70,000 for missed training sessions. Maradona responded by demanding that he be paid $ 1 million per game played as he had information that the club was earning twice as much on him.

The first suspension

Meanwhile, the Italian Olympic Committee sentenced him in 1991 to a 15-month suspension for finding traces of cocaine in his blood at a doping control. Maradona married Claudia Villafane in 1989, a love from his boyhood days, and the wedding he hosted in Buenos Aires cost him $ 3 million and had 1,200 guests. An 80-member orchestra played, and the newlyweds were driven to the hotel by a Rolls-Royce Phantom III, which allegedly belonged to Nazi criminal Joseph Goebbels.

However, in a series of scandals that followed, charges of cocaine possession in Argentina emerged, and Cristina Sinagra charged him with an illegitimate child. Maradona refused to undergo a DNA test, but an Italian court ruled in 1993 that he was the father of six-year-old Diego Sinagra.

Too much cocaine

He divorced Villafana in 2004, and that year he officially admitted that Diego was his illegitimate son. At the time he was serving his suspension Napoli refused to give him a letter of resignation because he had a contract until the end of the 1992 season, during which time he gained twenty pounds and looked grotesque.

Due to excessive cocaine use, the first signs of more serious deformities of his personality appear. In Buenos Aires at the time, there were rumors that he was seen naked wandering the streets after he ended up in bed with an unknown person, allegedly male.

An anecdote of a Croatian Argentine who knew Maradona

Argentinian of Croatian descent Antonio Esteban Vladusich, a longtime friend of mine who also recently passed away, worked as a coach in the junior categories of River Plate.

He knew Maradona well, he once told me:

"Ever since those drug problems started, with Maradona you never know what you're up to. Once you see him he would give you everything, and the second time you barely get your head out alive. On one occasion I got in the car with him and never again. through the city two hundred an hour, several times we almost died, but he just laughed, and I was sick, "revealed Vladusich, who was a great football connoisseur, a coach licensed by the Argentine Football Association and a good friend of the former president of Argentina Carlos Menem, whom Maradona also supported for years, and later switched to the left political wing.

Visiting Zagreb

He became a fan of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, so he tattooed a portrait of the Cuban revolutionary of Argentine origin Che Guevara on his shoulder. In Italy, meanwhile, he was accused of tax evasion, which is why he briefly fled to Argentina.

In 1992, he moved from Napoli to Seville, where he played one season with former Croatian national team player Davor Šuker. He then returns to Argentina for Newell’s Old Boys and prepares for his last 1994 World Cup in the United States. On the eve of the World Cup, Maradona was a guest in Zagreb with Argentina, it was 0: 0 in the rain-soaked Maksimir, and the statue reminded Maradona of the time when he weighed an optimal 67 kilograms.

He also visited the grave in Zagreb a year before the death of Dražen Petrović, whom he greatly appreciated. It is interesting that the great-grandfather of Maradona's mother Dalma Salvadore Franco was originally from Korčula, and his name was Mateo Kariolić. Dalma was named after Dalmatia, and that is how Maradona named one of his two daughters.

A mad roar against Greece

At the World Cup in the USA, Maradona played only two games, he officially failed a doping test for taking ephedrine, and it was allegedly cocaine, and some say that FIFA chose a milder form of doping because of the reduced proportion of the scandal.

Maradona accused the Brazilians and then-Fife president João Havelange of conspiracy. He justified that the coach gave him an energy drink that has different chemical properties in America than the one in Argentina, so he found ephedrine. But it didn’t help, Fifa suspended him and Argentina dropped out of the championship after losing to Romania in the round of 16.

From that championship, his goal to Greece and the crazy scream in the camera are remembered. He looked just as if he was “on something,” and later claimed he had a verbal agreement with Fife leaders that he was allowed to use illicit means to lose weight. He said that it was in Fifi's interest to perform at the World Cup because of the higher ratings of the championship. But no one confirmed this thesis from Fife. In 1995, he returned to Boca Juniors for which he played the last two seasons of his career.

Rapid deterioration of health

After retirement, his physical condition deteriorated significantly in two years. Obesity and cocaine consumption caused serious heart problems, so in 2000 he ended up in hospital in Montevideo after one sudden heart attack. Large amounts of cocaine were found in his blood. After leaving the hospital, Maradona goes to drug rehabilitation in Cuba, to his friend Fidel Castro.

In 2004, Maradona was the closest to death. A severe heart attack pinned him to a hospital bed, he was on respirators for weeks, fans prayed for him all over Argentina and the world, masses of people gathered in front of the hospital. After his recovery, his family did not allow him to go to Cuba for rehabilitation again.

Stomach shortening and tax debts

A year later, he underwent gastric shortening surgery in Colombia after gaining enormous weight and could not lose weight in any way. He visibly lost weight after the operation, but the old problems did not disappear. In March 2007, Maradona again ended up in a hospital in Buenos Aires. He contracted hepatitis due to excessive alcohol consumption. There was some misinformation about his death at the time.

Two months later, he was discharged from a specialized clinic for the treatment of alcohol addiction. That year, he appeared on Argentine television with the message that he has not used drugs for two and a half years, and recently stated that he has been clean for six years. But the troubles for Maradona did not stop there.

In March 2009, the Italian tax authorities announced that they owed the Italian Government € 37 million in unpaid taxes, of which € 23.5 million was interest on the original debt. The Italians claim that Maradona paid only 42,000 euros in taxes on luxury watches and jewels out of the requested amount.

Champion of ordinary people

The greatest wish of the champion of ordinary people, as he called himself, was to win the World Cup with Argentina and as a coach. On the eve of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, he stated:

"I decided to move Messi from the right side to the middle, right behind the striker, because I want every ball to go over him," said Maradona, who also played in that position.

Although his vanity is widely known, Maradona then claimed that he sincerely hoped that Messi would overtake him. With one "tiny" fence - he must win the World Cup. That has not happened to this day. And therefore, if you ask the average Argentine, they have no dilemma as to who is the biggest.

After the 2010 World Cup, Maradona's coaching career practically came to life. He changed clubs and states, but it was clear that he could not achieve any greater success. Simply, coaching was not for him. This is usually the case with the biggest players. They have neither strength, nor energy, nor will. It’s hard for them to understand that their players can’t play moves that were child's play for them.

Of course Maradona understood football, but coaching doesn’t just mean that. After all, he didn't even need it. After such a career you don’t need anything. It was a living monument, a walking legend.

It was much more important for Maradona and his family to start living healthier and more responsibly. It's easy to say. And it’s even easier to judge. Few can understand what he went through in life. What kind of pressure he was under can be understood perhaps only by Pele, both Ronaldo, his compatriot Messi or Tyson, Jordan and similar greats.

Maradona would not be Maradona if he did not go his own way. You know the one, better one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. He lived like a lion for at least three-thirds of his life. Completely indomitable until the last moment. Croatian tennis fans could see for themselves how "hit" he was in the old days in that big Zagreb Davis Cup final between Croatia and Argentina.

He determined the path of the Firemen in Russia

His ties with Croatia are deep, not only in origin. He also had his finger in the historical success of the Firemen in Russia. It was he who drew the balls in the draw and connected Argentina and Croatia into the same group. Croats remember that bitter smile when he pulled Croatia out.

As if he knew what was going to happen. He died on a round figure, recently turning 60. It has symbolism. It’s not a phrase, nor is it mere pathos: it will be remembered while it’s football.

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  1. Amazing editorial, I'm agreed with the note,
    Cheers from Buenos Aires


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