Diego Armando Maradona Franco, born on the 30 October 1960, was an Argentine football player and manager. Standing at 1.65 metres (5ft 5inches) Maradona’s vision, passing, ball control and dribbling skills, combined with his small stature, was widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
You might know him for the famous “hand of god” goal, scored against England in the 1986 world cup, but Diego Maradona was famous for a lot of things on and off the pitch. Here are a couple of things you probably didn’t know about “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Boy”), Diego Armando.
1 – Diego Maradona has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm, and a portrait of Fidel Castro tattooed on his left leg. Maradona has stated that his tattoos mean the world to him, and of Guevara, he said: “I carry him on my arm and in my heart. I learned his story, I learned to love him. I think I know the truth about him.”
2 – Maradona holds the record for the most number of fouls on a player in a World Cup – 53, during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He also holds the record for the most number of fouls suffered in one game in a World Cup, when Italy fouled him 23 times in the 1982 edition of the tournament.
3 – In 2005, Maradona became the host for a talk show on Argentinian television, La Noche del 10, which was aired for one 12-episode season in 2005. Despite their rivalry, Pele was his main guest on his very first show.
5 years before this time, precisely December 11, 2000, both men went on to become the joint winners of the *one time* FIFA Player of the 20th Century award held in Rome.
4 – There was a request from the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to FIFA to retire the No.10 jersey in honour of Maradona. The request was ultimately denied.
5 – Maradona holds the record for being the only player in football history to beat the record transfer fee twice. The first was when he transferred to Barcelona for a then-world record fee of £5 million, and a second time, when he transferred to Napoli for another record fee of £6.9 million.
6 – Maradona fans started a “Church of Maradona” in Buenos Aires in 1998. The year is marked by Maradona’s birthday every year. October 30, 2010, is 50 D.D [“Despues de Diego, After Diego”],”. The “Church of Maradona” was presumably designed to annoy English fans still fuming from the Hand Of God controversy.
7 – After scoring the triumphant goal in a worldwide All-Star game in Pasadena a month after the finish of the 1986 World Cup, it is reported that Maradona sniffed cocaine off his hand on the pitch while celebrating.
8 – Estadio Diego Armando Maradona, the name of Argentinos Juniors arena, is named after Diego Maradona.
9 – Italian authorities in 2009, discovered that Maradona owes them €37 million. It is estimated that over 50% of the debt is due to accumulated interests. So far, Maradona had paid only €42,000, two luxury watches and a set of earrings.
10 – Diego Maradona died on the 25th November 2020, the same day Manchester United and Northern Irish football legend George Best died 15 years ago.