MEXICO CITY (AP) – He was considered a genius on the soccer field. Outside, he was a character practically everyone knows.
Diego Maradona, who died of a heart attack on Wednesday aged 60, began his story as a player in the Villa Fiorito neighborhood of Buenos Aires and has become a great footballer over the decades.
He made his debut at Argentinos Juniors and then jumped to the mythical Boca Juniors where he received his first title as a professional soccer player in 1981. Then it went to Europe and its legend began.
He won three titles with the Barcelona Club and became a world football figure. But Maradona won a great spot when he led Argentina to the 1986 world title in Mexico, where he scored one of the most iconic goals in football history – the « Hand of God » goal that contributed to England’s defeat in a quarterfinal match.
Experts have discussed who was the best football player in history – whether Maradona or Pelé, the legendary Brazilian who retired in 1977 and is still alive. There was no consensus.
Maradona and Pelé had a very good relationship until the Argentine failed a doping test and was banned from the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Pelé criticized him and they split until 2005 when they re-established a relationship.
Outside the field, Maradona was an outspoken figure who turned to left ideology. He was a good friend of Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban Revolution, and was also close to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Diego Maradona, Argentine national soccer team, Boca Juniors
World news – AU – AP PHOTOS: Maradona is a genius on the field, a character