Thursday, October 1, 2009
Diego Armando Maradona (born 30 October 1960 in Lanús, Buenos Aires) is a former Argentine football player, and current coach of the Argentine national side. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest players of all time; he finished first in an internet vote for the FIFA Player of the Century award, and he shared the award with Pelé.
Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and, most distinguishedly, Napoli. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. In that same tournament's quarter-final round he scored two remarkable goals in a 2-1 victory over England which instantly cemented his fame. The first goal was an unpenalized handball known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal was a spectacular 60-metre weave through six England players, commonly referred to as "The Goal of the Century".On 20 October 1976, Maradona made his professional debut with Argentinos Juniors, ten days before his sixteenth birthday. He played there between 1976 and 1981, before his £1m transfer to Boca Juniors. Joining the squad midway through the 1981 season, Maradona played through 1982, and secured his first league winners' medal. Whilst playing for Argentinos Juniors, English club Sheffield United put in a bid of £180,000 for his services but the bid was rejected.