Diego Maradona -The Controversial Showman


Dennis Lee
Staff member
Some may argue that no number 10 player in the history of soccer has been as controversial as Diego Maradona of Argentina. Always larger than life, this showman was never shy about his admirable soccer skills. Even when he was a ball boy for the local club team when he was a young child, he would take the ball out to the field at halftime and give the crowd a show of his dribbling skills and soccer freestyle skills.

Maradona has played abroad for Barcelona, Napoli, and Sevilla, but his heart has always been in Argentina. He is a huge fan, and former player, for the popular Argentine club Boca Juniors, and represented Argentina in 4 World Cups. And as much as he loves the Argentine fans, they love him even more. A newspaper once said To understand the gargantuan shadow Maradona casts over his soccer-mad homeland, one has to conjure up the athleticism of Michael Jordan, the power of Babe Ruth and the human fallibility of Mike Tyson. Lump them together in a single barrel-chested man with shaggy black hair and you have El Diego, idol to the millions of Argentines who call him D10S, a mix of his playing number and the Spanish word for God.

Probably his most memorable World Cup was in Mexico in 1986, where he captained Argentina to the championship and won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. In the quarterfinal game of this World Cup against England, he scored two very memorable goals. The first was an intentional handball that led to a goal, which the referee did not see or call. This has been dubbed 'The Hand of God'. His second goal against England was a spectacular 60 meter weave through six English players, which was later voted the goal of the century.

Maradona was a strategist and a team player, as well as ridiculously technical with the ball. He could always control himself amazingly in limited spaces, and would attract defenders only to quickly dash out of the group. His small size, mixed with lightning quickness and full-speed dribbling skills lead many to make comparisons to his style of play and Lionel Messis. Maradona was dominantly left-footed, often using his left foot even when the ball was set up more ideally for a right-footed connection.

For the 2010 World Cup, Maradona made a debut coaching the Argentine national team to the quarterfinals.