Published: NOV 27, 2020

Fabulous and fallible: The highs and lows of Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, died of a heart attack at his home in Argentina on Nov 25. The Argentine government declared three days of mourning.

Hand of God

Perhaps the two most defining moments of Maradona's career happened in the same match against England in the 1986 World Cup.

The first was the infamous "Hand of God", a contentious goal scored with his hand that the referee missed.

“A little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God."

MARADONA, WHEN ASKED HOW THE CONTENTIOUS GOAL WAS SCORED

Goal of the Century

If the "Hand of God" goal was lucky, his next act, just four minutes later, was pure genius. He picked up the ball in his own half and dribbled past six England players before slotting home. Fifa named it the "Goal of the Century".

He led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, arguably the pinnacle of his career.

Darling of Naples

During his club career, Maradona won national titles with Boca Juniors in Argentina and Barcelona in Spain. But he is most beloved by the fans of Napoli - a team he led to two Italian Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990.

A disastrous 1982 World Cup

After a series of poor performances, his 1982 World Cup run ended in ignominy when he was sent off for a "below the belt " foul against Brazil's Batista.

Failed drug test

12 years after that red card, Maradona would exit another World Cup under a cloud. He was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the US after traces of the banned substance ephedrine were detected during his drug test.

Off-the-pitch struggles

Maradona was known to struggle with a drug habit and overeating after the end of his football career. He twice needed gastric surgery in 2005 to control his weight.

THE FLAWED GENIUS
THE FLAWED GENIUS

“He battled life - poverty, weight, addiction, pressure - and yet also rose above it. He was not anyone's version of a role model, nor some suited brand, just fallible and fabulous all at once. He flew and fell.”

ROHIT BRIJNATH, ST ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

READ ROHIT'S TRIBUTE
READ ROHIT'S TRIBUTE