- Diego Maradona celebrates his sixtieth birthday right this moment
- We pay tribute with video footage and stats
- He was immediately concerned in ten of 13 Argentina targets at one match
Diego Maradona was simply 9 when he instructed a tv reporter that his largest want was to play at a FIFA World Cup™. Those black-and-white photographs, from a curly-haired child who wooed viewers together with his unimaginable ball abilities, would reverberate all through his profession and mark a earlier than and after with the Argentina nationwide staff.
FIFA.com pays tribute to Maradona by wanting again at a few of his most inspirational moments of his worldwide profession.
From debut to first disappointment
Maradona was already a teen sensation with Argentinos Juniors when he made his Albiceleste debut in February 1977 in a pleasant towards Hungary at La Bombonera, one of many stadiums that might additionally witness his heroics at membership degree.
‘El Pelusa’ turned, at 16 years and 130 days, the youngest participant to characterize Argentina – a file which nonetheless stays.
Maradona got here on rather than Leopoldo Luque and, whereas he failed to rating within the 5-1 win, he managed to show his undoubted high quality, simply as he did in subsequent preparation video games for Argentina 1978. However, it proved inadequate to earn him a spot within the squad that might go on to win the title on house soil, offering the primary main disappointment of his bourgeoning profession.
“When I was omitted from the squad for ‘being too young’, I began to realise that my anger could be a fuel for me,” he would later say.
‘El Pibe de Oro’ conquers Japan
Under the stewardship of Cesar Menotti, the identical coach who had left him out of the squad for Argentina 1978, Maradona proved his price by main La Albiceleste to the title on the FIFA U-20 World Cup Japan 1979™.
His dazzling efficiency, a foretaste of what would occur seven years later in Mexico, earned him the adidas Golden Ball because the match’s greatest participant.
His six targets secured him the adidas Silver Boot as second-greatest scorer. Notably, he discovered the web as soon as within the quarters, semis and last, underlining his potential to produce on the massive event.
The frustration that carried over from Spain 1982, when his World Cup ended with a purple card within the defeat to Brazil, solely fuelled Maradona’s need to make amends at Mexico 1986. With Carlos Bilardo on the helm, ‘El Diez’ produced one of the vital impactful particular person performances within the historical past of the World Cup and contributed enormously to Argentina’s title.
His targets towards England within the quarter-finals at the moment are a part of footballing lore. For the primary, he transformed together with his hand with out the referee noticing, famously claiming afterwards that it had been “with the hand of God”.
The second, nevertheless, was one of many most interesting particular person efforts of all time. “Cosmic kite, which planet did you come from?” shouted Uruguayan commentator Victor Hugo Morales in immortalising the objective.
With 5 targets and 5 assists, Maradona had a hand in ten of his facet’s 13 strikes in Mexico, choosing up the adidas Golden Ball in addition to Silver Boot. And although he didn’t handle to rating within the Final, he did present the help for the profitable objective within the 3-2 victory.
Suffering, pleasure and tears…
Maradona and Argentina went into Italy 1990 with damage and type considerations and made very arduous work of the group section. Once once more Maradona was instrumental, even stopping a objective together with his arm towards Soviet Union that went unpunished, as his facet progressed to the Round of 16 as probably the greatest third-positioned groups.
He adopted his beautiful help for Claudio Caniggia’s winner within the 1-0 defeat of Brazil with a missed penalty towards Yugoslavia within the quarter-finals. But Maradona would make amends within the semi-last towards Italy in Naples, the place, paradoxically, he performed his membership soccer on the time. Inevitably, Maradona would rating through the penalty shootout that denied the hosts a spot within the Final of their World Cup.
“That was the penalty that caused me the most anguish in my life… But I was the one who knocked Italy out,” he later instructed FIFA TV. His tears on accumulating his runners-up medal after shedding the Final to Germany would endlessly seal his bond with generations of Argentina followers.
Maradona on the World Cup
|Spain 1982||5||2||0||Second section|
|USA 1994||2||1||1||Round of 16|
- Maradona is the Argentinian with essentially the most World Cup appearances
- He is the Argentinian with essentially the most Word Cup assists
- He is third on the listing of Argentinian goalscorers on the World Cup behind Batistuta (10 targets) and Guilermo Stabile (eight)