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Maradona, far beyond football

Maradona. His last words before dying: "I feel bad"

Maradona's death has reopened the debate that was always present in the player's life and that football has been fueling for decades. A simple question in its enunciation and complex to the point of unsolvable in its answer: Who has been the best footballer in history? 

Within the empirical impossibility of establishing a common denominator of the different times and conditions in which they expressed themselves with the ball at their feet, and much more in team sports, it is generally accepted that the historical peak of football is personalized by Di Stéfano , Pelé , Cruyff , Maradona and Messi.

One European and four South Americans. And of these, three Argentines. That each one interpret the data, granting it, as far as possible, its share of chance and causality. Only two of the five are still alive. Pele, delicate as an old man. Messi, full of youth.

In their different physical and technical characteristics, the five chosen have definite similarities. They are all organizers and scorers. Total footballers.

They are also linked, and as main architects, to a club in the maximum splendor of certain moments in its history and, in some cases, also a National Team. Di Stéfano, to Real Madrid. Pelé to Santos and, above all, to the canarinha. 

Cruyff, Ajax and A Clockwork Orange . Maradona, to Naplesand the albiceleste. Messi, to the great, recent and still contemporary Barcelona. 

Not a few analysts go to the World Cup scale to help establish hierarchies. Thus, they would enthrone Pelé and Maradona. They would be only runners-up in the world Cruyff and Messi.

 But the data weakens when it is found that Di Stéfano, for personal and geographical reasons, did not even make his debut in a World Cup. He was injured in Chile'62.

Perhaps the set of professional virtues, that the regularity in its application and the continuity in excellence place Li (e) onel Andrés Messi Cuccitini on the throne between historical and timeless football. But no one like Maradona contributed to its universal projection. 

He magnified him on the court, extended him beyond his purely sporting sphere.

He stained it with his example and, at the same time, purified it by the contrast between the human weakness of the person and the intrinsic and eternal goodness of the ball.

The heartbreaking message from Maradona's son: "You often ask me if I have forgiven you, how could I not have?"

Maradona's best phrases: "Do you know what player I would have been if I hadn't taken drugs?"

It politicized him through his ideological path, but without depriving him of his innocence, of his original neutrality. Of her virginity. He denounced him and then pardoned him. He blessed him always and above all. And he searched in it, without finding it, in a futile search, an impossible redemption.

In reality, he took football from its own inner limits and even from its outer borders to, through an excessive, distorted personality, elemental in its surrender to the most primal instincts and kneeling before the grossest temptations, take it to every corner of the world. this world.

He elevated him to the stars through an existence in which only disorder maintained his suicidal constancy.

Aware of his fragility, sentenced by life, perhaps Diego always imagined that football, in its infinite goodness, would absolve him.

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