Diego Maradona, who is widely considered as one of the greatest football players of all time, passed away prematurely in 2020. The God of Football was just 60 years old when he passed away. Even though he only lived to be 60 years old, his impact on the football field, and outside it, was immense. In this post, we will talk a little about the illustrious career of the God of Football. Let’s get started.
The God Of Football: The Legend of Number 10
10 Interesting Stories About The God of Football
The demise of the “God Of Football” caused great reactions from the world, from politicians, players, singers, to all his fans from Argentina who took to the streets to remember Maradona.
The story of “Pelusa” begins when he was a poor Argentine boy with an innate talent for soccer and who dreamed of one day winning a World Cup. Here are some interesting facts about Diego Maradona:
Maradona had tattoos of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Fidel Castro
The fantastic Argentine player had tattoos of his idol, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his great friend Fidel Castro. He carried “Che” on one of his shoulders while he had Castro embodied on one of his legs. A curious coincidence is that both Fidel Castro and Maradona died on the same date: November 25, only four years apart.
He loved the song Maradona, which Andres Calamaro composed in his honor
Maradona’s name is heard in various songs by multiple artists. However, not all of them were to his liking, so this song, which had his last name (Maradona) as its title, was one of his favorites. Argentine Andrés Calamaro released the song in 1999, as part of the album Honestidad Brutal. “He is a great person on ten”, says the song, referring to the number that Maradona wore in his selection.
He also played for Sevilla
Most don’t remember. However, the “Fluff” played a season with the Sevilla football club in the years 1992-1993. He played 29 games with the Hispanic team and scored eight goals.
He is the Father-in-law of Kun Aguero
The Argentine player Kun Aguero was married from 2008 to 2012 with Giannina Dinhora, the third daughter in chronological order of Maradona. From this relationship was born the grandson of Argentine star Benjamín Aguero Maradona. Gia, as they affectionately call him, is a 31-year-old designer.
He had his own documentary
It was in 2019 that his documentary titled Diego Maradona was published. It was directed by Asif Kapadia, a British screenwriter and director, who has directed works such as The Warrior, in 2001, and Amy, in 2015. Kapadia reviews in this 2 hour and 10 minute documentary, the successful and controversial life of the Argentine player.
He had issues with his weight
Diego Maradona underwent various treatments and gastric bypass surgeries in search of maintaining an ideal weight. His first intervention was carried out in 2005, in Colombia, four years after retiring as a footballer. The second was done in Venezuela, 10 years after the first, since he had gained weight again.
His house in Barcelona had a black roof
“When we went to check the house, it was a mess,” were the words of the real estate agent, in an interview for Vanitatis. The agent was looking to sell the Argentine player’s home. This was left as a result of the barbecues he did inside his house in Barcelona, Spain.
He had massive debts
Due to the multiple debts he had in Italy, while playing with Napoli, generated by the non-payment of interest, the Italian police seized some earrings valued at US$6,000. However, this was only part of the US$53 million he owed according to data presented by BBC News.
He has a song named after him which criticizes football
Mano Negra, a French group, dedicated a song to “Pelusa” entitled Santa Maradona, which was part of their album “Casa Babylon”, released in 1994. Many claim that this song is actually a criticism of soccer, since that band, which had members like Manu Chao, had several themes of social criticism.
He has a religion named after him
In Rosario, Argentina, the Maradonian church was founded on October 30, 1998. This church worships Maradona as a “God”, his deeds and his words. It’s only fitting that Diego Maradon, the “God Of Football” has a religion named after him.
What’s the story of Asif Kapadia’s documentary on Diego Maradona?
Somewhere early in Asif Kapadia’s 2019 movie “Diego Maradona,” his personal trainer, Fernando Signorini, who has been working with him for years, states: “There’s Diego, and there’s Maradona. Diego was a wonderful kid with insecurities, Maradona is one of the football industry’s best players, and he was a character he created to face the demands of the media. Maradona could never show any weakness. I once told him, ‘I will go to the end of the world with Diego, but I will not take a single step with Maradona’. Then he turned to me and said, ‘But if it wasn’t for Maradona, I would still be at Villa Fiorito.'”
Kapadia’s “Rebel. Hero. Rogue. God.” The documentary deals with this duality underlined by Signorini, it mostly focuses on the career of the famous football player in Napoli and emphasizes how the Maradona persona consumed Diego. Just at the beginning of the movie, in the scene where Maradona, who came to Naples in July 1984, appears before the Italian press with the club president, the first question he is asked is, “Does Maradona know Camorra? Does he know that Camorra’s horn is beeping everywhere in Naples, including football?”
During these moments when the president grabbed the microphone and kicked the journalist out of the hall before Maradona even understood the question, Diego’s “Where did I come from?” We also see that he is looking around as if to say. The documentary, which started with a naive Maradona in 1984, comes to a Maradona who, in 1991, had to be tight-lipped with the mafia, escaped from Italy in a drug-deprived state, and ends with a portrait of Maradona trying to regroup himself in Argentina. Of course, like almost everyone else, Maradona puts that famous England game at the heart of his football career in the 1986 World Cup, where he scored his two most memorable goals just three minutes apart, and he doesn’t miss the Hand of God myth.
As in his previous documentaries (those who remember “Senna” and “Amy” will attend), Asif Kapadia edited his film using only archival footage, it is likely that he tried to differentiate it from Emir Kusturica’s film, who shot a very different Maradona documentary 10 years ago, and gave the audience more attention. He described Maradona’s media face and the highlights of his relatively short football career. There is a tragic story in Kapadia’s movie, no doubt about it. In other words, it starts with the star Maradona, deals with his heroism, even his deification in Naples, and finally focuses on his fall due to his own mistakes. As such, it is a coherent, striking and sad film. Of course, there are some shortcomings, but we can follow that part of the work from Kusturica anyway.
In the movie, Kapadia also sheds light on the striking issues related to Maradona’s private life, and although he gives a special place to his illegitimate son, for example, he does not include the news about violence against women. It is difficult to understand why the fact that he beat his girlfriends is not emphasized, considering that a large area is devoted to his drug addiction in the movie, but when it comes to violence against women, it has been pushed under the rug.
Are there any other features of Diego Maradona?
Let’s get to the other side of the coin. Emir Kusturica chose to paint a portrait that emphasizes Maradona’s human side in his 2008 documentary “Maradona by Kusturica” (which we understand that the filming started in 2005). On the other hand, he did not neglect to add a personal perspective to the film by establishing some ties with his own films (“Do You Remember Dolly Bell?”, “Daddy on a Business Trip”, “Black Cat, White Cat”).
Unlike Kapadia, Kusturica’s film had very little archival footage. Of course, unforgettable moments from some of his matches often appear, but Kusturica’s concern is not primarily about football, and therefore he emphasizes other aspects of Maradona, not the footballer aspect. For example, in this movie, we become much more aware of Maradona’s world views and political side. We see him with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, we witness him participating in demonstrations, etc. After all, we are talking about a man with a tattoo of Che on his right arm and Fidel on his left calf, and Kusturica, being aware of this fact, puts animations symbolizing his fights over football with political characters such as Thatcher, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Reagan, Bush, between the episodes of the film. Manu Chao’s song in the finale is also a beauty.
Of course, there are other very interesting scenes in Kusturica’s movie. For example, we see Maradona singing with his daughters, or we witness the existence of a religion established in his name (in fact, there is a marriage ceremony for a couple who got married according to this religion!). But aside from everything else, with this movie, we also witness Maradona’s confessions about his remorse and his regrets in life, which we think is the most striking part of the movie. In one scene, Maradona says, “After watching old videos, I realized that I missed very important moments with my family and my children, I couldn’t live,” Maradona frankly admits that cocaine ruined his life in another place, and says, “Imagine what a football player I would be if I didn’t use cocaine, Emir.” “What a great player we lost.”
It’s only partially true. Yes, we did lose a great player on November 25th, 2020, but it was also the day that the “God Of Football” died.