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    Diego Armando Maradona (1960-2020)
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    Diego Maradona passed away yesterday at the age of 60. Back in the 1980's, not only was he considered the greatest soccer player on the planet, he was probably the most famous person on the planet as well. On the field, he exhibited flair and charisma. Off the field, he was known for his hijnks, drug addiction, weight gain and friendships with most nefarious personalities.

    He almost made the 1978 Argentina WC winning squad at 17, was a starlet in 1982, almost single handedly brought Argentina the 1986 title, then again brought the team into the final in 1990. Then in the US 1994, his ugly side popped up again and he was banned from the tournament for taking the PED's. That destroyed team's spirits and the were knocked out by Romania.

    In Argentina, he was an idol, their version of Babe Ruth. Except the Babe never suited up in the national colors. The nation has declared three days of mourning, as the last respects will be paid at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires.

    This was Maradona's most famous goal. Unless you count the Hand of G-d a few minutes earlier.

    1986 World Cup quarterfinal. Argentina vs. England. Great play-by-play call too.



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    As I had mentioned, a few minutes before the "goal of the century", Maradona used his fist to punch the ball into the net over the onrushing England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The announcer is clueless, believing the English defenders are claiming the offside, which it could not be called since an English player Steve Hodge kicks it toward an own net. When asked to explain his cheating, Maradona famously said, "It was a hand of G-d".



    PS. The English translation of the goal call in the previous post -


    Maradona has the ball, two mark him, he touches the ball. The genius of world football dashes to the right and leaves the third and is going to pass to Burruchaga. It’s still Maradona! Genius! Genius! Genius! Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta. Gooooooooooal! Gooooooooooal! I want to cry! Dear God! Long live football! Gooooooooooal! Diegoal! Maradona! It’s enough to make you cry, forgive me. Maradona, in an unforgettable run, in the play of all time. Cosmic kite! What planet are you from? Leaving in your wake so many Englishmen, so that the whole country is a clenched fist shouting for Argentina? Argentina 2, England 0. Diegoal, Diegoal, Diego Armando Maradona. Thank you, God, for football, for Maradona, for these tears, for this, Argentina 2, England 0.”


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    People lined up for miles in Buenos Aires to pay their final respects. Naturally, a riot broke out. Naturally, very few were wearing masks.



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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Thank you for educating me, I've seen his name popping up all over the web and I don't follow any organized sports so I wasn't motivated enough to research who the guy was.
    Now I know, huge football star. Makes sense.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    The global sports scene is different than the American one. In the US, if you're a Pats fan, you love Tom Brady. But, if you're a Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens fan, you hate Tom Brady. And there are a lot more fans that follow teams other than the Pats. And it's the same in baseball or the NBA.

    Across the world, the league play is as important but the national teams steal the spotlight during the World Cups, Euros, Copa America, etc. The national teams may still be All-Star selections but there's no wink-wink All-Star defense. Major tournaments are a matter of tremendous national pride and its top stars become national heroes. Maradona's two goals against England in the 1986 WC were even more than that due to the Falkland War between the two nations.

    The Brits themselves aren't void of the same feelings. When the English team beat West Germany in the 1966 WC final for their sole major title to date, the most memorable English tabloid headline was, "Two World Wars and one World Cup". When the Netherlands finally beat West Germany in the 1988 Euros, the headline was, "We finally got our bicycles back", referring to the German occupation of the Netherlands during WWII and the "requisition" of privately owned bikes by the German troops. In other words, the debt was finally paid. Forty Four years later.

    And Honduras and El Salvador went to war over a soccer match. Sort of.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War


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    Maradona's career and a premature death are, sadly, not precedent setting. Brazilian Manuel Francisco dos Santos, known simply as Garrincha (Little Bird), was there before him. How good of a player was Garrincha? The Brazilian saying was, "Pele was the greatest player of all time ... but Garrincha was better".

    And his story was even more bewildering. For starters, Garrincha was born with a physical deformity. As an adult, his right leg was more than two inches shorter than his left. Furthermore, one of them was turned inwards and another outwards. Doctors thought it was a miracle than he would even walk.



    Moreover, he was not well psychologically. In his own autobiography, he claimed to have lost his virginity to a goat. And he was an alcoholic on top of that, Prior to the 1958 World Cup, Brazil administered mental tests to its players. Pele was pronounced immature (he was 17 at the time). Garrincha, at 23, was pronounced insane. Both made the team.

    Both became legends. Garrincha grew up destitute and often had to play without shoes. In 1953, he was offered a tryout by a club in his home town of Rio de Janeiro. But the team wouldn't pay for his bus ticket, so he didn't go. Botafogo, one of the biggest clubs in Brazil, finally extended him a similar offer but with the bus ticket included. Garrincha showed at the club training ground and was given football shoes and workout apparel. Then the head coach pointed at another player warming up and told Garrincha to see if he can dribble around him. The player in question was a left back, representing a natural opponent to Garincha, who was a right wing/forward. What was completely unknown to the 19-year old prospect was that the left back was none other than Botafogo's and Brazil's captain Nilton Santos, arguably the best left back in the world at that time. The attacker was given the ball and easily dribbled past Santos. They reset the play and Garrincha blew by Santos again. After the third one-on-one that ended the same way the first two, the captain walked over to the coach and said, "I think you better sign this kid because I prefer to look like an idiot in training rather than in a real match".

    With both Pele and Garrincha on the pitch at the same time, Brazil had never lost a single match, winning the 1958 World Cup. In 1962 WC, Pele was injured in opening matches and Garrincha was moved to a central striker position, helping Brazil win another title and being named the Player of the Tournament.



    But there were too many temptations to resist and Mane Garrincha pretty much succumbed to them all, dying in 1983 at the age of 49.


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    The greatest football player (sorry DLD) of my childhood, possibly of all time - Lionel Messi the only one to compare in my lifetime - interesting that they are both short of stature, predominantly left footed and of course Argentinian.
    I'm English but can only marvel at that 2nd goal he scored against us at the Mexico World Cup. Genius.
    This is a great documentary about him, you don't need to be a football fan to enjoy it (from the same film making team as Senna and Amy)
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5433114/


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    Quote Originally Posted by ade4all View Post
    The greatest football player (sorry DLD) ...
    It's referred to as soccer in the US, Canada, Australia and Jamaica, all of which have other "footballs". Say "football" and the Americans will be thinking the pointy ball.

    My favorite player growing up was Gerd "Der Bomber" Müller, who could "turn inside four men in a phone booth". So, from over 50 years of watching the jogo bonito, I'd clearly rank Messi as having the greatest career, though Ronaldo (the Brazilian, not the Portuguese) was probably more dominating before his performances were negatively effected by knee injuries and, later, weight gain.


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    So, in a turn of events reminiscent of Michael Jackson's death, the Buenos Aires police is investigating Maradona's doctor for possible manslaughter.

    In another odd coincident, the doctor's name is Leopold Luque, which is the same as of a star Argentine striker from the 1978 team, the one who (could have) kept the 17-year old Maradona from being on that roster.


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    #10
    Director of Photography
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    I did Steadicam for the '94 World Cup in Boston, including the Argentina/Greece game with Maradona (the legendary shot of him running straight towards the camera like a wild man was from that game, sadly not my camera though!). I'd like to say that I was aware of the place that would land in history, but mostly at the time I was consumed with running my ass off up and down the pitch with a rig probably twice the weight of what a broadcast operator would be carrying today, plus wrestling with the bulky triax cable, and it was a hotter than hell summer to boot.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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