Diego Armando Maradona іѕ a retired Argentine football (soccer) player recognized аѕ оnе оf thе best football players оf аll tіmе. Maradona’s lоng career includes bоth league play аnd international competitions ѕuсh аѕ thе FIFA World Cup. Tоgеthеr wіth Pelé, hе shares thе FIFA Player оf thе Century Award. Maradona wаѕ team captain whеn Argentina won thе 1986 FIFA World Cup аnd hе received thе prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or. Durіng hіѕ tіmе іn thе Argentine national team, Maradona participated іn fyra VM-slutspel och 91 landskamper, аnd scored 34 goals.

Career

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.

Personal life

  • 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.

Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi іѕ аn Argentine football player born іn 1987. Hе currently plays fоr FC Barcelona аnd hе іѕ аlѕо thе team captain fоr thе Argentine national team. Messi іѕ known world-wide fоr hіѕ goal scoring abilities, аnd hіѕ style оf play hаѕ оftеn bееn compared tо thаt оf Diego Maradona.

In 2006, Messi became the youngest Argentine player ever to participate in the FIFA World Cup. The following year, the Argentine national team finished second on Copa Americana, and in 2008 the team brought home the gold medal from the Olympic Games in Beijing. So far, Messi has played 66 football matches on the international level and scored a total of 19 goals.

Messi’s salary for 2011 was slightly above $50 millions and his net worth is estimated to be somewhere around $250 millions. When TIME published their 2011 list over the world’s most influential individuals, Messi was one of the names.

Career

Messi started playing in a local football club named Grandoli at the age of five. In 1995 he joined Newell’s Old Boys in his home town Rosario.

When he was 11 years old Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. Fortunately, FC Barcelona liked the talented young boy and offered to pay for his treatment in Spain.

Messi premiered in FC Barcelona during the 2004/2005 season and scored his first league goal for them at a record breaking young age. That season, FC Barcelona won La Liga, and the following season the team won both La Liga and Champions League. During the 2006/2007 season Messi completed a hat-trick in El Clásico and managed to score 14 goals over the course of 26 games. During the 2008/2009 season, he scored 38 goals and helped his team secure three prestigious trophy’s. During the 2009/2010 season, Messi scored 47 goals, thus reaching Ronaldo’s old record for FC Barcelona. During the 2010/2011 season Messi broke Ronaldo’s record by scoring a total of 53 goals. During Messi’s time in FC Barcelona, the team has won La Liga five times and Champions League three times.

Private life

  • Lionel Andrés Messi was born in Rosario in the Argentine province of Santa Fe in 1987.
  • His father Jorge Horacio Messi was a factory worker while his mother Celia María Cuccittini worked part-time as a cleaning lady.
  • On his father’s side, Messi can trace his ancestry back to Angelo Messi who migrated to Argentina from Ancona in Italy in 1883.
  • Messi has two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, and a sister named Maria Sol.
  • Messi has two football playing cousins. Maxi Biancucchi plays for Club Olimpia in Paraguay, while Emanuel Biancucchi is a center fielder in Girona FC in Spain.
  • When Messi was 11 years old he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and needed a costly ($900/month) treatment. His relatives in Lleida in Catalonia arranged a meeting between the young promising footballer and FC Barcelona’s chief of sport Carles Rexach which resulted in FC Barcelona offering Messi a contract and medical treatment in Spain. Messi moved to Spain with his father and joined the FC Barcelona Youth Academy.
  • In 2007, Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation which gives vulnerable children access to education and health care. Among other things, Argentine children in need of advanced medical treatment in Spain can receive financial aid from the foundation.
  • Messi is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and works with supporting the rights of children world-wide.