Diego Maradona, Always The Man of the Match

Sports

Diego Maradona, Always The Man of the Match

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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here are many things Diego Maradona could have done after his stint as the world’s greatest footballer of all time. He could have, like other legends from the world of sport, chosen a dignified, greying life spent in a suit throwing instructions at footballers from the other side of the touchline, he could become a football pundit on TV, or he could have simply posed for photographs while doing humanitarian work across the globe.

But that’s not who Diego Maradona is.

Maradona’s entire life has been a Mountain Dew commercial – full throttle, filled with thrill and adventure. If his life were to be summarised as an inanimate object, it would be a Formula One car. It moves at speed, there’s a lot of thrill, but a permanent risk that things could come crashing down any moment. He is Argentina’s comic star, action hero, and chocolate boy all rolled into one.

When he’s not busy smoking pot, sporting a Che Guevara tattoo, and trying out a funky hairstyle, he’s pissing people off on Twitter with his comments and engaging in a verbal barrage with Pele. A heart attack survivor and drug addict, he lives life to the fullest. A footballing Charlie Sheen, if you will.

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Maradona’s entire life has been a Mountain Dew commercial – full throttle, filled with thrill and adventure.

Image Credits: Getty Images

When Lionel Messi’s Argentina were sweating it out on the field in a must-win game against Nigeria at the World Cup yesterday, Maradona danced with a Nigerian fan in the stands, posed with a saint-like image of himself, looked up to the heavens every 18 seconds, enacted the Wakanda sign, showed someone the finger, and then had to be carried away to a hospital at the end of the game. While the internet exploded with his antics, Maradona would probably call it, just another Tuesday.

While everyone else saw a football game, Maradona lived his life during those 90 minutes. The ups and downs, the heartbreak and the jubilation mimicked his existence. Cameramen and photographs were probably more in love with him than Messi. With every miss and every foul, the lens panned to the stands for his reaction. Even if you missed the game, you could feel the twists and turns with his changing expressions through the course of the game. The world wide web erupted as the greatest footballer of the current generation scored on the pitch and the greatest footballer of the previous generation cheered for him from the stands, in the manner that only he could.

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While everyone else saw a football game, Maradona lived his life during those 90 minutes.

Image Credits: Getty Images

It’s no wonder that while other celebrities garner respect, Diego Maradona garners only passion. He is as raw, frank, and as real as it gets. In a world that dictates political correctness for public figures in the limelight, he has no time for it. He speaks what he thinks, emotes what he feels, supports what he likes, and consumes what he wishes, not giving a flying fuck about what anyone thinks of him. He’s football’s darling, who people love seeing at the games, while he has the time of his life, every single time.

As the world’s most passionate Argentinian, he is GOAT at everything he commits himself to, both on and off the field. It’s the only way he knows to live life. And last night he showed us that he isn’t just the world’s greatest footballer. He is also the world’s greatest football fan.

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