Football

Diego Maradona | A roller coaster life in pictures

Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, died at his home in Argentina after suffering a heart attack on November 25. He was 60. The man who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title had seen it all, on and off the field.

Also read: Obituary | The Argentine footballer in the pantheon of excellence | Reactions to Diego Maradona's death

It’s one of sports’ most celebrated rags-to-riches stories. Born on October 1960, Diego Maradona grew up in the shanty town of Villa Fiorito in Buenos Aires. He was the fifth of eight children of a factory worker. For young Diego, football seemed the best route to escape a life of poverty. This is an undated photo of Diego Maradona (centre) relaxing with his family on a beach. Photo: Getty Images
As a teenager, Maradona helped Argentina to victory in the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championships in Japan. Maradona narrowly missed the making the World Cup squad a year earlier. Photo: Getty Images
Maradona made his World Cup debut in 1982 in Spain but it wasn’t the most memorable tournament for him. Against Brazil, he was sent off. Photo: AFP
Maradona represented Barcelona and Napoli as well. His stint with Barcelona suffered due to injuries, but when he arrived in Italy in 1984, he enjoyed greater success. He helped Napoli to the Italian title twice. Photo: AFP
In what is still regarded as one of the greatest goals of all time, against England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Maradona dribbled past nearly half the England team before slotting the ball into the net. It was later voted the “Goal of the Century” by a FIFA poll. Photo: Getty Images
In the same match against England in 1986, Maradona also had one of international football’s most notorious “goals” against his name. Replays showed the ball striking his hand first before beating goalkeeper Peter Shilton but the goal was awarded to Argentina. It came to be known as the “Hand of God” goal. Photo: AP
Maradona made the 1986 World Cup his own. He captained Argentina to victory against West Germany in the final, beating them 3-2 in the Atzeca Stadium, in Mexico City. Photo: AP
However, the defence of the World Cup title four years later ended in tears for Maradona, as Argentina finished runner-up 1-0 to West Germany in Rome Photo: AFP
The 1994 World Cup in the USA was a fall from grace for Maradona after he tested positive in a drugs test during the tournament. He was later expelled from the World Cup by FIFA. Photo: AFP
After his retirement, Maradona’s health started to deteriorate, due to alcohol and substance abuse. His indulgent lifestyle put him in the spotlight and at times overshadowed his achievements on the field. Photo: Reuters
Bouncing back after one health scare after another, Maradona took over as coach of Argentina ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with rising star Lionel Messi under his wing. Maradona didn’t hold back on his theatrics through the tournament and the cameras loved him. Photo: AP
Who’s the greatest footballer ever? Pele or Maradona? The debate may still continue. The Brazilian legend said this after Maradona’s death: “For sure, one day we will kick a ball together in heaven.” Photo: Reuters
Argentinians saw a lot of Diego in Lionel Messi, who fittingly bagged the No.10 jersey that defined Maradona for years. Maradona didn’t succeed in coaching Argentina to a World Cup title. Photo: AP
As he approached 60, Maradona’s health issues flared up again as he underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma in 2020. He died of a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on November 25, 2020. Photo: AFP