Maradona flew and fell. It is why we loved him

Diego Maradona in action during a charity football match called "Derby of the Heart" in Rome, on May 12, 2008.PHOTO: REUTERS

As a young man in Kolkata in the late 1980s, my friends and I managed to get our hands on a videotape of Hero, the official film of the 1986 World Cup. Diego Maradona's complexity as a man was yet to fully emerge and we were novice writers bewitched by this booted man. We watched him so often that we wore out the videotape. But memory of magic is always beyond erasure.

If we didn't have time for the whole film, we pressed forward wind till we came to the goal. That goal. The one which is an 11-second hymn to skill and a roughly 60m run into immortality. The goal that comes four minutes after the Hand of God and is the Left Foot of Genius. Sometimes you wish the ball could tell the full story of every spin, nudge, idea and caress.


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