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Name Diego Maradona
Gender Male
Ethnic Argentinian
Job Argentinian Footballer
Desc Diego Maradona may not have scored as many goals as Pele. He may not have been as impressive on an individual level compared to Messi. But he did something no one else has ever been able to achieve. He practically won a World Cup by himself. Argentina are forever indebted to the man who single-handedly dragged them kicking and screaming to glory in 1986, putting in man of the match performance after man of the match performance, scoring five goals and securing the Golden Ball along the way.

Affiliation

Org Argentina National Team
Club as Coach Al Fujairah SC
  Napoli FC
Club as Player Napoli FC

Relationship

Girlfriend Veronica Ojeda
Daughter Dalma Maradona
Agent Jorge Cyszterspiler
1982 05 28
Diego Maradona moves to Barcelona in football’s first £5million transfer
1986 06 22
Diego Maradona scored both goals in Argentina’s 2-1 World Cup quarterfinal victory over England in Mexico City - including one that he punched in, unseen by the referee. When asked about the play later, Maradona said, ‘It was the hand of God.’

1986 06 29 Retrieve

[Argentina win World Cup Final againsy West German] I was convinced this was our year. The people of Argentina wanted this. I’m happy the World Cup belongs to South America again.

1990 07 08
Argentinian national soccer team captain and midfielder Diego Maradona cries after his team lost to West Germany 1-0 on a penalty kick by defender Andreas Brehme in the World Cup final in Rome

2000 02 10 Retrieve

[Ex-Argentine Soccer Star Makes News Again, Now in Cuba] I would accept living with only half a heart in exchange for seeing my country fully recover from bad government officials. […] I chose Cuba because of the dignity of its people. [Later in an interview with Radio Rebelde, he said] I too am a rebel in this convoluted world

2000 12 04 Retrieve

[Maradona whose drug rehabilitation treatment is clearly not running altogether smoothly] I cannot die until all four Beatles are in heaven. Only one is there now, so I am safe

2010 06 22 Retrieve

[Maradona said of the Jabulani ball] I would ask all FIFA directors to stop talking about me and to start working on having a proper football. This ball is useless. It’s impossible to control

2010 09 25 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona says I Would Give My Life To Coach Argentina Again] I know that I have some chance of returning to the Seleccion, but if they turned my backroom side down the one that is in place now - in spite of two world champions like [Sergio] ‘Checho’ Batista and [Jose Luis] ‘Tata’ Brown - there are some that never played football. I would give my life to be the coach of the Seleccion

No-one knows who Batista is, not even in Uruguay. Lionel Messi was the player who cried the most.

I remember that Julio [Grondona] told us that we had had a good World Cup, that we were going to continue and that we had the Copa America ahead of us… when I met with Grondona [later], he told me that my support team was not good enough for the Seleccion. But I had a world champion in Hector Enrique and a continental champion in [Alejandro] Mancuso. From there I felt that if I didn’t change my team I was leaving, and I cannot leave my people without jobs

2012 07 10
Diego Maradona was fired as coach of the Dubai soccer club Al Wasl after a season in which it finished in eighth place in a 12-team league

2010 06 10 Retrieve

[Argentina’s 2-1 quarter-final win over England in 1986 is as renowned for Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ as it is for the ‘Hand of God’ opener when Diego fisted the ball past goalkeeper Peter Shilton. After the match, Maradona explained that the victory was revenge for the Falklands War four years earlier that had resulted in the deaths of more than 600 Argentines] [The goal was scored] a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God. Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas war, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge

2010 06 26 Retrieve

[World Cup 2010: Argentina Defender Walter Samuel Ruled Out Of Mexico Clash] Samuel is not feeling well and we cannot risk [using him] now. I will not tell you my starting XI. There are too many Mexicans here

2013 09 29 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on his favorite winner] My favourites to win the World Cup are Brazil. They showed at the Confederations Cup that when the Brazilian players are focused, they’re unbeaten. Neymar is outstanding. He does what he wants on the pitch

2013 10 20 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on Balotelli] My first contact with Mario was when he sent me a picture of him smoking a cigar! I liked it, I laughed. If I had the chance I would like to talk to Mario, by ourselves in a room, and explain about the bad experiences I had in football. People should leave Balotelli in peace. I think a manager should judge him on what he does on the pitch. For me, there is Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Balotelli

2013 12 31 Retrieve

[Argentina icon Diego Maradona, who never says anything stupid, reopens his long-running feud with Brazil legend Pele] I don’t like comparisons with Pele because of the stupid things he says. He keeps on saying stupid stuff when he takes the wrong pills

2014 06 10 Retrieve

[What did legendary Maradona say about Kempes’ exploits?] Mario is a phenomenon both as a person and a player. We are all indebted to him for what he did in 78 and that’s great. But we’ve been very ungrateful to him as well. He was the goalscorer and the soul of that side after all, and he deserves some kind of tribute from Argentina. I love him

2014 09 20 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on himself] Before arriving in Europe, I knew that with my technique I would have eaten up defenders. When the ball was between my feet, others couldn’t help but get excited

2015 04 11 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on Van Gaal] Van Gaal is closer to the devil than anything else

2015 05 16 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on Cristiano Ronaldo] I think they are at the same level. Cristiano is a predator in front of goal. You can’t let Cristiano shoot from anywhere in the opposition half. Goalkeepers are scared of Cristiano. They are not so scared of Messi in those areas because he doesn’t have the same power as Cristiano

2015 10 03 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on Tevez] I’d give an arm to go back 30 years and play with Tevez. I love him and thank him for coming back to Boca. I love Tevez. He’s just a guy who needs to be understood

2016 03 09 Retrieve

[on Francesco Totti] Totti is a great player and he will keep on showing that. He represents Italian soccer and the Italian fans will have fun with him

2016 06 09 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona has claimed that Lionel Messi lacks the character to be a leader] He’s a really good person, but he has no personality. He lacks [the] character to be a leader

2016 06 22 Retrieve

[when Maradona went to war with England] It was like beating a country, not a football team. Although we said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas War, we knew that a lot of Argentine kids had died there, that they had mowed us down like little birds

This was our revenge, it was … recovering a part of the Malvinas. We all said beforehand that we shouldn’t mix the two things but that was a lie. A lie! We didn’t think of anything except that, like hell it was going to be just another game!

2016 07 23 Retrieve

[Argentina great Diego Maradona put his name in the hat to coach the national team for a second stint] If they said I could fix the team, I’d grab it and do it for nothing

2016 09 14 Retrieve

[Quotes on Luis Suarez and The FIFA Ban] The Fifa sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo. It hurts that they have cut short the career of a lad who is a winner. It’s an excessive suspension. Fifa cannot talk about morals to anyone. Suarez didn’t kill anyone. This is an unjust punishment, the act of an incredible mafia

2016 10 15 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona gives his take on Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Zinedine Zidane the manager] Messi isn’t better than Cristiano Ronaldo and vice versa. I like watching Neymar because despite getting kicked 200 times he always continues to dribble at opponents. I like that Zidane wins because he is contradicting the theories of a lot of other coaches

2016 11 29 Retrieve

[Maradona on Argentina National Team] Wherever there is an Argentina shirt, I will be there

2017 05 13 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona tells his enthusiasm at becoming the new coach of United Arab Emirates second-tier side Al Fujairah SC] I am really excited. It’s a new challenge in a smaller league, although I’ll treat it like it was the best in the world

2017 07 08 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona says Lorenzo Insigne must top his 115-goal tally should he want to wear the shirt] If [Lorenzo Insigne] scores more goals than me, then he can wear [my No 10 jersey]

2017 08 11 Retrieve

[To be fair to Maradona, he is quick to exonerate Claudio Gentile in his autobiography] Every time I tried to receive the ball he’d be snapping at my ankles. I could hardly move or turn around and he didn’t even get sent off. It wasn’t Gentile’s fault, that’s his job. It was the ref.

2017 10 25 Retrieve

[Speaking for a drugs charity in 1996, Maradona came clean] Drugs are everywhere and I do not want kids to take them. I have two girls and I thought it best to say this, a father’s obligation… I was, am and always will be a drug addict

2017 10 25b Retrieve

[Diego stayed on the bench, directing a few less than complimentary gestures at the Millonario fans as goals from Julio Cesar Toresani and Martin Palermo sealed a famous victory for the visitors] Boca played like Boca and River were River. They played a great first half and then their panties fell down

2017 10 25c Retrieve

[Diego on Football] Football is the healthiest and most important sport in the world. I have made mistakes, and I have paid, but the ball cannot be stained

2017 12 16 Retrieve

[Maradona paid tribute to the late Benjamin Massing, the former Cameroon defender who passed away on 9 December] Let’s remember the late Benjamin Massing. We played against each other in the Opening Match of Italy 1990. Behind each football player, there is a man and a family. I would like to pass on my condolences to them

2017 12 23 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona responds when asked who he thinks is the best player ever] For me … From the little that I saw, Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff … And Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo could be up there too

2018 06 02 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona speaks about the current Argentina side] I would advise Messi to keep playing, to enjoy the game. He has to forget about the critics, if he can win the World Cup or not. He doesn’t have to demonstrate anything. He has to enjoy the game on the field. I don’t know [coach Jorge] Sampaoli, I don’t know how he plays. But I know a lot of the players and I know they will give everything. And I think they have a good opportunity to win. But I don’t choose [Argentina] as a favourite because the favourite one never wins

2018 11 17 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona talks about who he would go to in the coaching world for advice] As a coach I need to learn a lot and for that reason I think I will go to Manchester and Jose Mourinho to ask him a lot of things. Because he is the best without doubt. For me yes [he is better than Pep], Mou is the best

2019 05 21 Retrieve

[What was the Miracle of Istanbul? Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League final comeback explained] Even the Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup could not have staged a comeback with Milan leading 3–0…The English club proved that miracles really do exist

2019 09 14 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona says he helped Lionel Messi improve his free-kick technique] I had the best Messi and nobody can tell me otherwise, because he was able to skip past up to five players. A phenomenon. But he had an issue with free-kicks. When we finished every training session we kept Leo behind so he could practice, and he started to hit the post. I didn’t teach him how to take a free-kick. Then he asked me how I was able to score. [Maradona described his advice as to ‘simply hit it in the middle’]. And he replied, ‘But I hit it in the middle and the ball goes this way or that way’, and I told him, ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to make it’. Now he just can’t miss

2019 10 25 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona reveals delight for Dries Mertens after he broke his goal record and urges Belgian to sign new deal] For me, it wasn’t a disappointment. In fact, I applauded Mertens. When he scored, I thought about Napoli and certainly not myself. I watch all their games; especially those in the Champions League. The game against Salzburg was exciting, not beautiful but nice enough because when you win it’s always great. Mertens was born to be a striker, but he didn’t know. All his goals couldn’t be scored by someone who isn’t a striker at heart.

I’d like to do something so that Mertens doesn’t leave. If it’s right for a professional to always look for a better salary, but it’s also true that in no other corner of the world would he feel loved, respected, pampered and important like he does in Naples.

Dear President, don’t let him get away. He’s over 30 years old, I know, but he runs, plays and scores goals with the freshness and enthusiasm of a young lad. Then, if he really should leave, Mertens should know that in La Plata, there will always be a place for him at my Gimnasia

2019 10 26 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona gives his reaction to Dries Mertens surpassing his goals tally for Napoli] For me, it wasn’t a disappointment. In fact, I applauded Mertens. When he scored, I thought about Napoli and certainly not myself

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[Argentina legend Maradona dismisses daughter’s concerns over his health] As you get older, people worry more about what you’re going to leave behind than what you’re doing. And I tell everyone that I am not leaving them anything, that I am going to donate it. All I earned during my life, I’m going to donate it. For now, I am very healthy, very healthy

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Maradona legend himself has expressed interest in taking over his former side Newell’s Old Boys, who his Gimnasia side beat earlier this season] I have a broken heart because I know I’m coming back here. My heart tells me that I will return because I want to train Newell’s

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Maradona returns to the Gimnasia hot seat 48 hours after quitting] I want to thank the fans and the players, because among all of us we finally got the political unity of the club. I hope they comply with the reinforcements they promised me

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Riquelme and Maradona carry old feud into Boca election] We don’t want a Passarella in Boca and if Riquelme wins, hold on

2019 12 08 Tweet

[Diego Maradona Rates Alfredo Di Stefano Over Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo] I think the best in history was Alfredo Di Stéfano. He was superior to everyone, even me

2019 12 17 Retrieve

[Maradona: Pochettino should coach ‘biggest in the world’ Boca Juniors] I will not go to Boca because I repeat that I do not agree with those who will manage the club. The president [Jorge Amor Ameal] was already there and it was a disaster, he surrounded himself with [vice-president Mario Pergolini] who believes that he can handle the club. And Juan Roman Riquelme […] a club is not run within the locker room. It’s much harder than stopping the ball, giving a pass or kicking a free-kick. Boca have to take a technician to play and feel what Boca is. It’s not easy to sit in that chair. The best of all is Maradona [laughs]. But now I will not go, there at some point it happens. But I would like Mauricio Pochettino. You have to call him and convince him to come to lead the biggest team in the world

2019 12 18 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona has named fellow Argentine, Alfredo Di Stefano, as the greatest footballer in history] I think the best was Di Stefano. He was superior to everyone – even me. Pele didn’t want to recognise Di Stefano’s talents. Pele’s friends invented a trophy especially for him for being a living legend of football. I even beat Pele in Rio for being the best in history!

[Maradona played against some of the most talented players of his era and was asked to name the best shirt he swapped with another player and the team-mate he found was the easiest to play alongside] The best shirts I swapped were with Gullit and Van Basten when they were at AC Milan. The player who I connected best with was [former Napoli striker] Careca.

[With Messi having just lifted a record sixth Ballon d’Or, Maradona commented on how many he could have won if he was playing today] I think I’d have quite a few [Ballons d’Or] but what Messi is doing is outstanding. I would never like to face Messi – not ever. The lad comes home, plays football, doesn’t sing the national anthem and they say he’s Catalan. I don’t criticise Messi [like some others do]

[Maradona famously said in the past that he taught Messi how to take free-kicks] I told him where he should place his foot, but the rest is all down to him. He has got it down to a tee

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona on Alfredo Di Stefano] I think the best was Di Stefano. He was superior to everyone, including me. Pele did not want to recognize Di Stefano. Pele’s friends invented a trophy for him as the living legend of football. But even I have beaten him to become one of the best players in history

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Maradona: Messi is the best player today & an enormous talent, but I hope Napoli beat Barcelona] He must continue his career and his life knowing that he is the best football player today. I enjoyed watching Leo with Argentina in every game

I have given everything to Napoli and Napoli has given everything to me showing its affection. They [the 1980s] were great years for the team and for Argentina. We managed to win the [Serie A] championship, the UEFA Cup and the World Cup

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[Maradona’s reply to Jorge Amor Ameal was instant and typically withering] Ameal? Isn’t it Amear? I don’t know him from anywhere. I don’t know if he used to milk cows, if he sold milk. Now he says, ‘No, we won’t give Maradona a plaque.’ Who asked you for one, mate? Who asked you, but you know where you can stick your plaque?

2020 03 31 Retrieve

[A series of disappointing showings followed as Argentina spluttered to World Cup qualification in South Africa] I want to talk very seriously with Leo Messi because he has to take off once and for all. We have the best player in the world and he deserves all our support. At Barcelona, he grabs the ball and dribbles past four players; here, it’s harder for him

2020 04 26 Retrieve

[West Germany won the final after being awarded a controversial penalty in the 85th minute with Maradona adamant Edgardo Codesal didn’t want Argentina to win the match] Our players ran hard, but then came this man who ruined everything for us. This man was scared that we would get to penalties. He wanted to make the Italian people happy. The black hand of this man expelled Monzon for a normal action, and later he called a penalty against us from his imagination. I have been crying for a long time. Football has been my life and I wasn’t crying because we got second place, but because of the way we lost. This man didn’t have any right to call that penalty

2020 04 29 Retrieve

[Maradona: Coronavirus shutdown is ‘new Hand of God’ as Gimnasia escape relegation] I am not a magician, we are going to fight this with the kids. We got this news today and many are saying that it is the new Hand of God. But right now I would ask that hand to be used to stop this pandemic so the people can go back to live their lives, healthy and happy. I want it to be made clear that we aren’t celebrating the suspension of the tournament nor the elimination of relegation. We wanted to escape on the field. We and the fans are celebrating our work, all we have done up to now.

I hope it is understood that we need to take on what comes next together for the good of Argentine football. Nobody is Rambo and can win this war alone because even Rambo would lose against this

2020 05 02 Retrieve

[Diego Maradona about the COVID-19 pandemic] Today, I ask that ‘hand’ [of God] to end this pandemic so the people can live their lives again, healthy and happy. Hopefully, it is understood that what is coming we have to face together for the good of Argentine football. No one is Rambo to win this war, because even Rambo loses against this (virus).

2020 06 01 Retrieve

[The myth of Maradona: Was ‘Hand of God’ goal integral to Diego’s legacy?] That goal became part of soccer history. There are still 10-year-old kids out there today with ‘Maradona’ on their backs. And that kind of insanity can only be explained by one goal. Or maybe two

[He has also claimed that he told his team-mates that he felt no shame about the deceitful nature of ‘The Hand of God’, as he christened it afterwards] I said to them: ‘Those who steal from a thief are entitled to 100 years of forgiveness’ And the English had done a lot of things to us…

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[There are those that still believe that Messi is no captain. Diego Maradona, the Argentine icon to whom he is so often compared, once said of his compatriot] It’s useless to make a leader of a guy who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game.