The world of football was yesterday hit with shock at the passing of one of the greatest footballers of all time, Diego Armando Maradona. The football legend died of a heart attack at his home. He was 60 years old.
His passing comes just two weeks after he underwent successful brain surgery for a blood clot at a specialist private clinic in Buenos Aires. He had a history of health problems.
Diego Armando Maradona October 30, 1960 – November 25, 2020
During his illustrious career, Maradona helped Argentina win the World Cup in 1986. He also played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Italian Serie A titles with the latter.
Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups
He retired from professional football in 1997, at the age of 37, following his second stint at Argentine giants, Boca Juniors.
Following his death, tributes to the legend have continued to pour in from the football world and beyond. The hashtag #RIP Diego is trending on Twitter in Nigeria with over 305,000 tweets in less than 12 hours.
Football stars like Messi, Ronaldo and Pele have all sent heartwarming tributes about the late icon.
Messi posted “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to take the opportunity to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”
Cristiano Ronaldo posted an old picture of himself with Maradona captioned with “Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”
Diego was nicknamed, ‘El Pibe de Oro’ which means ‘The Golden Boy’
To commemorate the life and achievement of this great icon, we have curated 5 mind-blowing facts you probably didn’t know about the late legend.
Maradona is worth just $100,000
After winning the World Cup in 1986, playing for big clubs like Barcelona and Napoli, and being an ambassador for global brands like Coca-Cola and Hublo one would think Maradona was super rich.
However, that’s not the case, according to Goal Maradona’s net worth is estimated at $100,000 (£75,000). This is because the football legend has been in a long-running dispute with the Italian government over taxes.
Italian officials revealed in 2009 that Maradona owes them €37 million (£32.2m). More than half this sum is interest on the original debt.
With a reported debt left to pay the Italian authorities, Maradona’s net worth has been estimated at $100,000 (£75,000) by the website Celebrity Net Worth.
Maradona featured in 21 World Cup matches
Diego Maradona was without a doubt an icon revered as perhaps the best player ever to play the sport. During his career, he made a record 21 World Cup matches altogether.
He featured in 4 FIFA World Cup competitions for Argentina. He was a member of the Argentina team that won the 1979 Youth World Cup in Japan.
Maradona made football history in 1986, leading Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986, defeating West Germany 3-2 in the final game. In the semi-final against England, he had scored his first goal against England, a fraudulent handball that has come to be known as ‘Hand of God’.
Maradona was capped 91 times for Argentina and scored 34 goals.
Maradona’s second goal against England where he dribbles past England defenders was also voted as the ‘Goal of the Century’
Maradona holds several World Records
As a footballer, Diego made several records many of which he still holds today. During the World Cup, he captained Argentina on 16 occasions, the highest number of appearances as captain of any country in a World Cup.
He also earned the Golden Ball award at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup, a record which only he and compatriot, Messi hold.
Diego Maradona scored 345 goals in 680 games
According to records, Maradona is the only player to have broken the player transfer fee record twice throughout the entire existence of club football.
In 1982, Maradona attracted a world record fee of $7.6m to transfer to FC Barcelona.
Other Maradona records include the record for suffering the most number of fouls during a World Cup with 53 times. And a similar record for the most number of fouls endured in one match, in 1982 against Italy where they fouled him 23 times.
Maradona is worshipped as a god
Being one of the greatest footballers in Argentinean history, Maradona was well-loved and revered. To celebrate his excellence, his fans often go high and beyond.
Maradona was highlighted as a legendary player in Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 and FIFA 18.
The Argentinos Juniors named their stadium after Maradona, calling it Estadio Diego Armando Maradona. Also, the authorities at the Azteca Stadium built a statue of him scoring the “Goal of the Century” and placed it at the entrance of the stadium.
The craziest of all is the “Church of Maradona” in Buenos Aires which fans founded in 1998. The church marks its year by Maradona’s birthday every year. October 30, 2010, is 50 D.D [“despues de Diego”],” or ‘After Diego’.
Maradona has just two legal Kids
Maradona married Claudia Villafane on November 7, 1989, in Buenos Aires, but the pair divorced in 2004. Before his death, he acknowledged that he only has two legitimate children, Dalma and Giannina.
However, having struggled with drug addiction and wild lifestyle from his young age, there have been several issues where he fathered children out of wedlock.
According to Wikipedia, he has 5 children: Diego Sinagra, Giannina Maradona, Dalma Maradona, Diego Fernando Maradona Ojeda, Jana Maradona
Diego, however, insists that “my genuine children are Dalma and Giannina. The rest are the results of my cash and mistakes.”
So, there you are, five things you probably didn’t know about the man, the legend, Diego Maradona.
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