Diego Armando Maradona Franco is a former Argentine professional footballer, who was born on 30 October 1960, in the Argentine city of Lanus.
Maradona is regarded as one of the greatest ever footballers to have played the game, and was the awarded as the FIFA Best Player of the 20th Century.
He has given a new definition to the attacking midfielder position and also predominantly termed as the second striker.
Maradona had a humble upbringing, he was bred in the city of Villa Fiorito in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and was born to underprivileged parents. When he was eight years old, Maradona came under the eyes of a talent scout when he was playing in the neighborhood club Estrella Roja.
Soon, the natural skill set made him the chief player of the Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires's Argentinos Juniors.
Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors in the year 1976, after the conclusion of the match he stated, "That day I felt I had held the sky in my hands.” He played for five years at Argentinos Juniors and scored 115 goals in 167 appearances. Maradona was transferred to Barcelona in Spain for a then world record fee of £5 million in the year 1982, and the club raced to glory.
His international debut came in the year 1976 when Argentina played against Hungary. Maradona was not included in the 1978 World Cup squad, which was held in Argentina as the coach César Luis Menotti felt that he’s still a novice to play in the World Cup.
He played the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan, Argentina won the final and Maradona was the star of the tournament. His first senior international goal came in the year 1979 in a 3–1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Rise to glory
Maradona was the youngest player to make it to the national team. In 1979 he was declared to be the South American Player of the Year and he led Argentina in the Junior World Cup. Maradona was the newsmaker in 1982 when he was sold to Barcelona for $7.7 million at the age of 21.
With Maradona’s extraordinary gameplay, Argentina became the champions in 1986 World Cup and he was named "athlete of the decade" by the British. But he wasn’t short of controversy, as he scored a pivotal goal against England with the help of his arm. After the match, Maradona famously said that if the ball struck any hand, it was the hand of God.
He also received the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and the Silver Shoe in the same year.
He led Napoli to the Serie A title twice in his career.
Maradona had a tough time with Barca, he was addicted to cocaine, due to which Barcelona's directors had disputes and Maradona was sold to Napoli for another record fee of £6.9million.
Maradona was banned from football for 15 months in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine.
Maradona captained the Argentina national football team 16 times, and led his nation to World Cup title in 1986.
The Argentine ace footballer has scored 312 goals in his entire career. He has recorded 8 goals and provided 8 assists in 21 World Cup appearances. Maradona was the second highest goal-scorer from Argentina in World Cup finals.
Post-retirement from football, he won FIFA Player of the Century award. He plays few charity matches in order to raise money for trusts and organization.