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Diego Maradona: The ‘Hand of God’ has Departed

Besides his explosive opinions, paired with substance abuse, Diego Maradona was arguably a soccer sorcerer who bewitched the world, and his ...

Besides his explosive opinions, paired with substance abuse, Diego Maradona was arguably a soccer sorcerer who bewitched the world, and his death has deprived the world of his addictive tricks.

Without Diego and his candid expressions and antics, dating back to his playing days, football is poor. ‘The Hand of God’, arguably his most remembered footballing incident that attempted to capture his love for soccer, and his willingness to win at all cost.

The Golden Boy died aged 60 from cardiac arrest. He had been swamped by a heart alignment, with his net worth reportedly dwindling to a paltry $100,000 in sharp contrast to Pele’s reportedly US100 million, though he played before Maradona. At the same time, the media always feasted in comparing the two legends, with Maradona regularly topping the polls.

Diego was a complex character, who not only elected to demonstrate his ability on the pitch but off the field, Maradona was a ready package for media scoops, always ready to amaze those in attendance in both speech and deeds. Sporting legends continue to pour out their sentiments about Maradona’s demise. Brazilian legend Pele tweeted that he hoped to play with Diego in the sky one day.
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
“The Hand of God, Maradona has left us,” Boxing legend, Mike Tyson mourned. “He was one of my heroes and friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed.” Argentina, his country has proclaimed three-day mourning for their national hero who helped clinch their 1986 World Cup title. Europe’s publications even profanely captioned that ‘God is dead’.

Lionel Messi, the player projected to fill Maradona’s playing boots said, “If anyone inspired me, it was undoubtedly Maradona.” And the player who bequeathed the famous number 10 jersey had a soft spot for the Barcelona player. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he did little to hide that affection.

On the field of play, Maradona exhibited a burst of tenacity and robust steeliness. But when he retired from the game, he became obscure, always questioning if people still loved him as they used to during his playing days. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were part of his life and beliefs, both tattooed on his limbs. He considered himself a revolutionary, changing the game of soccer.

“Sometimes I wonder if people will still love me,” Maradona said during his final interview. “I am going to be eternally grateful to the people. Every day they surprise me, what I experienced in this return to Argentine football I will never forget.”
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

Maradona always regretted using drugs, and he was candid about it. “I went and I am very happy. Soccer gave me everything I have, more than I ever imagined. And if I hadn't had that addiction, I could have played a lot more.” The legend wished the best for his nation and wished he had parents.

Few, if any pundits will debate his dribbling mystic, eternally oozing unmatched love and tenacity when on the ball. In Napoli, he became the club’s all-time leading scorer. Today, his mural still graces the city, nearly becoming a ‘football god’ both to the city and club.

While many remain vexed with Maradona’s outburst, his teammate attempted to dissect the complex character. “He is someone many people want to emulate, a controversial figure, loved, hated, who stirs great upheaval, especially in Argentina. Stressing his personal life is a mistake,” Jorge Valdano said in 20016.
Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
“Maradona has no peers inside the pitch, but he has turned his life into a show and is now living a personal ordeal that should not be imitated,” his compatriot added. From the slums of Argentina to Italy and on the world stage, Maradona transformed his craft into a revered art, which will take forever to rival.

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