Facts about Diego Maradona

Facts about Maradona
  1. Debut: Maradona made his professional debut at the age of 15 (October 20, 1976) for the Argentinos Juniors team
  2. International matches: He has played 91 games for Argentina, in which he has scored 34 goals
  3. World Championships: Maradona has played in 4 World Cup tournaments for Argentina and has appeared in 21 World Cup matches overall
  4. Team captain: Maradona has captained his national team 16 times in the World Cup, more than any other player in history
  5. Illegal ways of playing: Maradona holds the record for the highest number illegal ways of playing 53 times in one World Cup (Mexico, 1986) and 23 times in one match (against Italy in the 1982 World Cup)
  6. Businesses: During his career, Maradona has led his national team to numerous victories and has been largely responsible for the success of Italian, Spanish and Argentinian club teams
  7. WORLD CUP 1986: Maradona led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final. In the same World Cup he won – as the best player of the match – the Golden Ball
  8. The hand of God: During the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona scored with his hand; he lifted the ball over the English goalkeeper without the referee seeing it. The incident became known as the ‘Hand of God’, with Maradona stating the following about the incident: “The goal was scored a little bit by the hand of God and a little bit by Maradona’s head”
  9. The goal of the century: In Maradona’s 2nd goal against England in the 1986 World Cup (a few minutes after the “Hand of God”), he dribbled past 5 players and scored. FIFA called this goal the “Goal of the Century”
  10. Manager: In November 2008, he became manager of the Argentine national team. Under his leadership, the team suffered its worst defeat ever; 6-1 against Bolivia in the World Cup qualifiers
Facts: Maradona during the Champions League final in 2012
Attribution: Neogeolegend – Wikipedia.org

Fact: Diego Maradona is considered by many – especially Argentinians – to be the best footballer in world history. Here Maradona is seen during the Champions League final in 2012


Family and background

  • Childbirth: Diego Armando Maradona was born on October 30, 1960 on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Parents and caregivers: Diego Maradona Senior and Dalma Salvadora Franco. His father is of Italian and American Indian origin, while his mother is of Croatian descent
  • Marriage: He married Claudia Villafane on November 7, 1989 in Buenos Aires. The couple divorced in 2004. In his autobiography, Maradona admits that Claudia has always been the love of his life – even if he hasn’t always been faithful to her
  • Children: Maradona has two daughters with Claudia Villafane; Dalma Nerea (born April 2, 1987) and Giannina Dinorah (born May 16, 1989). During his divorce, Maradona also acknowledged that he is the father of footballer Diego Sinagra (born September 20, 1986). This was the result of an affair with a young Neapolitan woman, Cristiana Sinagra
  • Abuse: Maradona was addicted to cocaine from the mid-1980s to 2004. He reportedly started using the drug in 1983 when he played for FC Barcelona. On March 29, 2007, he was treated for hepatitis as a result of alcohol abuse. On May 8, 2007, he appeared on TV and stated that he had stopped drinking and had not taken drugs for 2 ½ years
  • Obesity: Maradona has always had a tendency to be overweight and had particular weight issues from the end of his professional football career until he underwent gastric bypass surgery on March 6, 2005
Fact: Maradona scored using the 'Hand of God' during a World Cup match against England in 1986
Attribution: Paolo Camera – Flickr.com

During the quarterfinal against England in the 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona scored with his hand; he lifted the ball over the goalkeeper without the referee seeing it. The incident became known as the “Hand of God” and is part of football history


More facts about Maradona

  • Tattoo: Maradona has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm
  • Maradona Church: Some of Maradona’s fans started a church in their idol’s name, Iglesia Maradoniana, in 1998. The church was founded on October 30, 1998 (on Maradona’s 38th birthday) in the city of Rosario, Argentina. The common denominator of the church’s “congregation” is that they consider Maradona to be the best soccer player in world history. In addition, they follow the church’s 10 Commandments, which are mainly about football, Argentina and Diego Maradona
  • Stadium: Argentinos Juniors – who Maradona played for in his younger days – have named their stadium after Maradona; Estadio Diego Armando Maradona
  • Fidel Castro: Maradona is good friends with Cuban leader Fidel Castro
  • Doping: In several cases, Maradona has tested positive for doping, which has also had consequences for his career
  • Nice words: In his 1997 book on Maradona, Argentine psychologist and author Gustavo Bernstein writes the following about the football hero: “No one embodies our essence better. No one wears our emblem more nobly. To no one else, in the last 20 years, have we sacrificed so much passion. Argentina is Maradona, Maradona is Argentina.”