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Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona is a former Argentinian football player. He is generally regarded as one of the best players of all time.

He was born in Villa Fiorito, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 30, 1960. Maradona first played in the Argentinian Championship, for Argentinos Juniors[?] (1976-81) and then for Boca Juniors[?] (1981-82). Then he went to Spain, where, playing for FC Barcelona, he won a Copa del Rey. In June 1984 he went to Naples to join Napoli, where he won two Italian Championships (1986-87 and 1989-1990), a Coppa Italia[?] (1987), a UEFA Cup (1989) and an Italian Supercup (1990), plus Napoli were runners-up in the Italian Championship twice.

He led the Argentinian national team[?] to victory in the World Cup in 1986, winning 3-1 in the final against West Germany. In this tournament, he became notorious for a goal in the quarter-final game against England, which video evidence later clearly revealed he had scored with the aid of his hand. He later claimed it was the "Hand of God" which had caused him to score the goal, to the general derision of the English public and in particular the tabloid newspapers, who still resurrect the incident occasionally even today. However, Maradona showed the other side of his nature just a couple of minutes later in the same match, by running half the length of the pitch and beating almost the entire English team along the way, to score what is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful goals in football history.

Maradona also captained Argentina in the 1990 World Cup, leading a far weaker team to the final again, where they lost 1-0 to West Germany. In the 1994 World Cup he was sent home in disgrace after failing a drugs test for ephedrine.

In the 1990s, his reputation and his ability were damaged by cocaine addiction that he tried to control on several occasions, and is now trying to defeat in Cuba.

In Naples, where he is still beloved (having brought the local team their first scudetto), he also faced a scandal regarding an illegitimate son and was object of some suspects about friendship with the Camorra (local Mafia).

Maradona left Napoli in 1992, after serving a 15 month ban for failing a drug test, and played for Sevilla FC(1992-93), Newell's Old Boys[?] (1993) and Boca Juniors (1995-97), without much success. He also attempted to work as a coach on a two short, very unsuccessful occasions, leading Mandiyú of Corrientes (1994) (played 12, won 1) and Racing Club (1995) (played 11, won 2). He retired from football on October 30, 1997.

In 2002, the FIFA authorized the Argentinian Football Association to stop using the shirt number 10, the number he used, as an homage to him.

Maradona's brother is a soccer player too, and his illegitimate child is now trying to start a career in soccer, but he does not appear to have inherited his father's skills.

Career Stats
Argentinos Juniors (1976-81) - 166 matches (116 goals)
Boca Juniors (1981-82, 1995-97) - 71 (35)
Barcelona (1982-84) - 58 (38)
Napoli (1984-91) - 259 (115)
Sevilla (1992-93) - 29 (7)
Newell's Old Boys (1993) - 5 (0)

Argentina[?] (1977-94) - 91 (34)


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