Argentinian commentator Victor Hugo Morales sobs with joy as he screams on the microphone, “Cosmic kite, what planet are you from that you can leave so many Englishmen in your wake?… Thank you God! For football! For Diego Maradona! For these tears! For this 2-0!” This epochal commentary can still bring tears to a heartfelt, devoted football admirer.
A boy from the city of Buenos Aires went onto become the ‘barillete cósmico’ and eventually conquered both the world of football and the hearts of all football fans across the globe. The story of this boy started in the year 1979 when at a mere age of 19, he won the FIFA U-19 World Cup with his nation.
In the year of 1982, for the first time, Diego Maradona got the chance to debut for the senior national team in the FIFA World Cup 1982 and impressed the world with his dazzling skills, blazing speed, rock-solid physicality and an urge to win every match. He was a born superstar of the game. His famous dribble against Belgium is still remembered as one of the finest dribbles in the World Cup history.
But, Italy defeated Argentina 2-1, thus leaving the Argentines a do or die game against Brazil. Trailing 3-0, Brazilian player Joao Batista da Silva fouled his teammate which to everyone’s shock went unnoticed. The incident resulted in a heated moment with the wonder boy Maradona being shown a red card. From that match, Maradona earned the tag of ‘Innocent Devil’.
In 1986, the FIFA World Cup that was held in Mexico is widely regarded as a fairytale for the Innocent Devil. But the semi-final match of Argentina against England has a special place in everyone’s heart. Six minutes into the second half, the wonder boy initiated an attack into the heart of the England defense, before laying the ball off to a teammate and surging forward. The ball was lobbed back in his direction by a panicked England defender and Diego leaped up in front of the goalkeeper to seemingly head the ball into the net. English players protested vehemently, and with just cause.
Somehow the match officials had missed what most people had seen — the vertically challenged boy had actually reached up and punched the ball into the net. But, no one could forget what happened just four minutes later. The Argentine no.10 received the ball a few yards behind the halfway line and produced a pirouette which left three defenders bamboozled. He then surged along the right hand touchline at pace, before somehow accelerating even more, slaloming past more English players as he hurdled towards goal.
Entering the box, Maradona faked another defender, left the goalkeeper sprawled on the ground with a jink, then clipped the ball into the back of the net. Under his captaincy, Argentina beat West Germany in the final and eventually lifted the World Cup for Argentina. This wonder boy clinched the accolade for FIFA Player of the Year four times and was even awarded the Player of the Decade.
This wonder boy is non other than, Diego Armando Maradona. The born great. The Prince of the world’s best sport. But shockingly, the Prince left all of us at a mere age of 60 with no words left to say. An untimely demise which the world will never be able to cope with.
An idol, an inspiration, a legend, an utter genius or whatever you might say, each and every word seems to be not up to the mark for defining the late player’s class. He had faced all transitions of mortal life, from the best of the best to the worse of the worst. In 1994, he got ruled out of the FIFA World Cup after he failed to clear the doping test.
Diego Maradona’s addiction to drugs costed him his name being taken off from the FIFA legends’ list. But still, the famous smile of Diego remained evergreen in toughest of times. Many living legends of the game are broken with the untimely demise of the Argentine football legend.
Brazilian legend, Pele tweeted, “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. I hope one day we can play football together above the sky.”
English legend, Gary Lineker also tweeted a heartfelt message, “Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.” It’s still difficult to gulp the truth that, the Greatest Footballer of All Time is no more.
Here, is a small tribute to the Late Prince of Football from our team,
“Espy, he is approaching anon, ushering his indemnifies with self, to reimburse everyone for what he might have done to them during their pulse in the orb. But who said you were the prince, Diego? Didn’t those mortal beings know the contrariety of a prince to the Numen of football.
The Demiurge of Argentine soccer can’t die. Until the time comes when people will stop playing the most beautiful game on this planet, your name will be echoed in the stands all across the world, every child who dreams of being a footballer will chant your name before stepping on to the pitch, your name will be remembered until people stop uttering the number 1,986.
Hope you have started your devising to score Goal of the Century in the soccer Coliseum of Nirvana and let the commentators in The Promised Land scream on their microphones and cry with happiness when you will find the ball at the back of the net. Adiós Diego Armando Maradona.”