Diego Armando Maradona is a retired Argentine football (soccer) player recognized as one of the best football players of all time. Maradona’s long career includes both league play and international competitions such as the FIFA World Cup. Together with Pelé, he shares the FIFA Player of the Century Award. Maradona was team captain when Argentina won the 1986 FIFA World Cup and he received the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or. During his time in the Argentine national team, Maradona participated in fyra VM-slutspel och 91 landskamper, and scored 34 goals.
The 10 year old Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while playing in the local football team Estrella Roja. He was recruited to Los Cebollitas, a junior team for the Argentinos Juniors football club. At the age of 12, he started to perform tricks and stunts during half time breaks at first division matches.
Ten days prior to his 16th birthday, Maradona premiered as an Argentinos Juniors pro. During his time in Argentinos Juniors (1976-1981) he scored 115 goals over the course of 167 football matches. Maradona joined Boca Juniors mid-season in 1981 after being purchased for £1 million. The following year, the team won a medal in the league championship.
After the 1982 FIFA World Cup, Maradona was transferred to FC Barcelona for a record breaking £5 million transfer sum. FC Barcelona won both Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup in 1983, but Maradonas time in Barcelona was marred with sickness and injuries. He suffered from hepatitis and broke his ankle, and in 1984 he demanded to be transferred to another club after quarrels with the FC Barcelona team management. The Italian football club Napoli purchased Barcelona for a new record sum, £6,9 million.
With Maradona in the team, Napoli won the Italian championship 1986/1987 and 1989/1990, and the team also came in second in 1987/1988 and 1988/1989. Napoli won Coppa Italia in 1987, finished second in 1989, won the EUFA Cup in 1989 and won the Italian Sup Cup in 1990. During the 1987/1988 season, Maradona scored more goals than anyone else in Serie A.
After testing positive for cocain, Maradona was banned from playing for 15 months and he left Napoli in discrage in 1992. He signed on with Sevilla and moved to Spain where he remained for a year. In 1993 he played five games for Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, Argentina. In 1995, Maradona returned to Boca Juniors where he played for two more years.
- Diego Armando Maradona was born in Lanús in the outskirts of Buenos Aires in 1960.
- Maradona has three older sisters and two younger brothers. Both brothers (Hugo ”El Turco” and Eduardo ”Lalo”) are professional footballers.
- Maradona’s father Diego is of Native American ancestry. Maradona’s mother Dalma Salvadore Francos can trace her ancestry back to Dalmatia in what is now Croatia. She is named after the region.
- Maradona grew up in Villa Fiorito, a low-income area in southern Buenos Aires.
- In 1989, Maradona married Claudia Villafañe. The couple has two daughers, Dalma Nerea (born in 1987) and Giannina Dinorah (born in 1989). The couple divorced in 2004 but remains on friendly terms and sometimes attend football games together.
- Maradona has a son named Diego Sinagra, born in Naples 1986.