Where did you came from, Maradona?
“Here goes Maradona, there are two players marking him, step on the ball Maradona, sprints through the right side the genius of world football, he stretches and is gonna pass to Burruchaga… Always Maradona! Genius! Genius! Genius! Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta GOOOOOLLLL I wanna cry! Dear God, God bless the football! Golaaazooo! Diegoooool! Maradona! It is meant to cry, forgive me Maradona, in a memorable run, in the greatest play of all times… Little cosmic barrel! From which planet have you came from as so to run from so many englishmen? For the country to be a clenched fist yelling for Argentina, Argentina 2 — England 0. Diegol, Diegol, Diego Armando Maradona… Thanks, God, for football, for these tears, for this Argentina 2–0 England.” (Victor Hugo Morales, 1986)
Today is probably one of the saddest days in the story of football. For once, even brazilians are overwhelmed for the passing of Diego Armando Maradona. A truly great player, legendary, but so much more than that.
Always a controversial character, at the same game which he scored what was called the greatest play of all time, he would become God. Or D10S, as argentinian people would say. The Hand of God, o la Mano de D10S, which gave the lead against England, was just a small fraction of what he was. Polemic, genius, outspoken, passional. Diego would play football like he was dancing a tango, dribbling anyone who would dare to mark him. Left footed, he would make his gambetas — and even though defenders knew he would pass the ball onto the left side, it was almost impossible to stop him — , his will would make him fight in and outside the pitch.
Of all Gods, D10S was pretty much the more human of them.
He would struggle with hunger and poverty in the youth, raised in a villa miseria — a slum — , he was the pinnacle of the pibe — The kid — . He played like there was no rules, or so to break them. He fought adversities and maintained hope so to be a football player.
His story would resemble a tango, of ups and downs, tragedy and glory. A real hero at Argentina and Napoli, a normal person which suffered from a cocaine addiction. Life never was easy with Diego. It was always intense, fun, dramatic. Nothing more “argentinian” than a passional person. For he was a common person. He was a pibe, a criollo, gente de la gente. Even though his difficulties, he would never forget his past. And that maybe made him a troubled genius. He would recall, about pressure on the football:
“Pressure has a person who wakes at 5 AM to go to work and make 10 pesos. Not us, who drive BMW’s and Mercedes Benz’.”
His feet on the floor, his intense relation with politics, made him to look like a God among people. And God was one of these people.
As a brazilian, it is strange — yet beautiful — to see the love of argentinian people for Diego. People crying their cars, in the streets, it is the most intense and passional one can be. His death is as traumatic as to see God leaving the people. But he will always be God. And God, for 60 years, was an Argentinian man.