Diego Armando Maradona. Love him or hate him, he is arguably one of the greatest to ever grace the football pitch. Maradona is worshipped as a God by many Argentines for his World Cup-winning exploits in 1986, and alongside Pele, Maradona was voted FIFA player of the century in 2002. However, despite his many footballing accolades, Diego Maradona is globally viewed as a very controversial figure for many reasons. These are the top five craziest things that Diego Maradona has ever done:
Maradona attended the 1994 World Cup in the USA with Argentina, despite many believing that he was passed his best. After two disappointing and substance fuelled seasons at Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys, Maradona managed to get back into shape in order to compete and show the world that he was still the greatest.
During Argentina’s opening 4-0 win against Greece, Maradona scored a great goal with an infamous celebration. Diego Maradona charged up to a pitch-side camera screaming and shouting, with his pupils being extremely dilated for some reason…
Towards the end of Maradona’s two unhappy years at Barcelona, Maradona was one of the major protagonists in an incredible post-match fight with some Athletic Bilbao players.
At the time of the match, the two sides were fierce rivals with both teams competing for the major honours available in Spain at the time. The two sides met in the 1984 Copa del Rey final, with Bilbao winning the incredibly violent game 1-0. At the final whistle, both players and staff alike started a mass brawl, with Maradona going around and landing a number of flying kicks.
3. PELE ‘DEBUTED WITH A LAD’
The media always portray Maradona and Pele as being the best ever footballers, but the two players have never had a good relationship. The two South Americans have exercised the bad blood between them via many media outlets, and this was no more apparent than in 2009.
In March 2009, Pele dubbed Diego Maradona as being a “bad role model” for younger children due to his history with drugs, especially cocaine. In an interview with Argentinian press, Maradona replied by referring to rumours that Pele lost his virginity to a man – “What do you want me to say? He debuted with a lad.”
2. THREATENING TO SHOOT THE GALLAGHER BROTHERS
Back when the two brothers were playing as ‘Oasis’ at a concert in Argentina, they met Maradona who told them that he would have them shot.
Whilst relaxing in a pub after the concert, the two brothers noticed a large amount of people entering the bar and later found out the Maradona had gone upstairs with a large group of “mad heads and women of the night”. When going in to meet Maradona, they describe his eyes as being off the charts with him sweating large amounts. Once realising that the two brothers were in the room, he went up to them and threatened to have them both shot if they attempted to try and take any of the women out of the room.
Diego Maradona is most notably known for his actions against England in the quarter finals of the 1986 World Cup. Maradona scored using his hand in one of the biggest acts of cheating the game has ever seen – this later became known as ‘the hand of god’.
The goal could not have come at a better time for the Argentines, as only four years prior to the goal, Argentina had lost the Falklands War to the British. The goal is commonly seen as an act of symbolic revenge for losing the war.
After scoring the goal, Maradona became an Argentine deity and a figure widely hated by the English.
Aged 60, Maradona tragically lost his life following a heart attack and a life full of substance abuse.