Diego Maradona’s Death Shocks The World


Alexander Tabares

Diego Maradona was an Argentinean soccer player who died from cardiac arrest after a spectacular career.

Alexander Tabares, Staff Writer

Diego Maradona, an icon in the world of soccer, a hero to millions of Argentines and a legend to thousands of supporters, died on Nov. 25, 2020 at the age of 60. Playing as an attacking midfielder in a career spanning from 1976 to 1997, he won a vast amount of trophies including the 1986 World Cup, as well as winning its golden ball, an award given to the best player of the global tournament. However, his impact stretched much farther than just soccer. His struggles with drugs and excessive partying saw Maradona become a controversial figure, making some love him more and others seeing this behavior as setting a bad example.

Despite this behavior, his popularity in Argentina and Naples, Italy is unrivaled with murals on every few city blocks and memorabilia of the Argentine midfielder in every household. His popularity is so large that the Staff Selection Commission Napoli, the local team of Naples Italy, has already renamed their stadium after him. This sudden testament to his popularity and impact on Naples’ club comes only weeks after his heart attack on Nov 25.

The impact Diego Maradona had sparked the support he has garnered in the Italian city. Napoli had never won the Italian League until Maradona signed for a then-record fee of 13.2 million dollars in 1984, and they have never won it since. He brought two Italian League titles to Naples, and for that, the fans still adore him. His World Cup victory in 1986 also brought the Argentinean fans to praise and cherish Maradona. Two goals Maradona scored in that World Cup have forever been cemented in soccer fans worldwide.

The first one, known as “the hand of God goal” saw the 5’5 Maradona jump and punch the ball over the English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The goal should have been ruled out for handball, as every player other than the goalkeeper is not allowed to use their hands, but the referee did not see it and so the goal stood. Only four minutes after the most controversial goal in world cup history, Maradona dribbled past five English defenders with his typically magnificent ability and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the then empty England goal. This goal was aptly named “the goal of the century” for its overall beauty and importance in the most important competition in all of world soccer.

“The controversy of the first goal and the brilliance of the second epitomizes Maradona. He has a controversy that many hate, but his magnificence must be praised,” sophomore Nathaniel Leiva said.

Despite the controversy clouding Maradona’s career, he is still worshiped in his native Argentina. As ridiculous as it may sound, there is a religion based on the attacking midfielder. Known as the Iglesia Maradoniana, it has about 200,000 registered members. Maradona’s connection to religion, however, does not end there. It is said that during a blood test a vial of Maradona’s blood was stolen and put into a local Naples church. This reportedly grossed Maradona out, but the whole thing remains a story.

“It truly saddened me to see such a baller die at such a young age,” sophomore Edglhys Lopez said.

At Maradona’s more advanced age, he had many health problems and surgeries related to obesity and his drug abuse. Despite this, his death still came unexpectedly from cardiac arrest in late November 2020 and saw millions around the world mourn his death and celebrate his life that was full of controversy, but more importantly, brilliance.

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