A lot is known about the G.O.A.T. Diego Maradona, but there are still untold stories about him that only a few know. Do you know that Maradona holds the record for making the highest number of appearances as captain of any country in a World Cup?
We will be uncovering some interesting facts and stories about Diego Maradona in this article. We will shine a light on some deep parts of his personal life, his career, and records. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started.
1. It is rumored that on the day Diego was born, in the Policlinico Evita hospital, only female children were born that day which led to a yell of ‘Gol’ after his birth.
2. Diego Maradona scored 34 goals and made 91 appearances for Argentina.
3. Diego Maradona played in four World Cup tournaments for his country.
4. Diego Maradona led Argentina 16 times to the World cup and that made him the only captain of a country with the highest appearance in the World Cup.
5. In total, Diego Maradona made 21 appearances in World Cup tournaments.
6. Diego Maradona signed with the Argentines when he was 14 and played his first match on October 20, 1976, just ten days before his 16th birthday.
7. In 1979, Diego Maradona was among the Argentinean youth squad that won the Youth World Cup in Japan.
8. Exactly four months and 10 days after his first debut in his home country; Diego Maradona made his first international appearance in a match against Hungary in the Buenos Aires’ Bambonera stadium.
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9. Diego Maradona inked a portrait of Fidel Castro on his left leg and Che Guevara on his arm.
10. Diego Maradona suffered the most number of fouls in a world cup -23 times when Italy hosted the World Cup and 53 when Mexico hosted it.
11. In the 1986 competition in Mexico, Diego Maradona scored one of the two memorable goals with his hand and the referee thought it was scored by his head. When asked about it, he said the goal was scored by the hand of God, and the goal is still referred to as the ‘Hand of God’ goal to date.
12. Argentina’s 3-2 win against Germany in the finals of the 1986 world cup was skippered by Maradona.
13. Maradona raised the almost-falling Naples to the Italian football standard when he won the Serie A twice in 1987 and 1990.
14. Maradona played only two games in the 1994 World cup, scoring one goal against Greece, after which he was disqualified because he tested positive for ephedrine.
15. Pelé was the first person Diego interviewed on his Argentinean television talk show in 2005 despite their rivalry. The show was considered the worst talk show of the year.
16. After Maradona became Argentina’s national team manager in 2008, he led the team to the World Cup’s quarterfinals in 2010.
17. Maradona died after suffering a fatal heart attack on 25th November 2020. This was coincidentally the fourth death anniversary of his political hero, Fidel Castro, and the 15th death anniversary of George Best.
18. The Argentine Football Association (AFA) requested that FIFA retire the No.10 shirt in honor of Maradona but the request was denied. Since that, Lionel Messi has been playing the number to date.
19. Argentines Juniors named their stadium Estadio Diego Armando Maradona in honor of Maradona.
20. After winning England in the 1986 quarter-final, Maradona said it was as if they had beaten a country more than just a football team.
21. Although Maradona played in other matches, he wasn’t allowed to play in the 1978 World Cup because the then coach, Cesar Luis Menotti said he was just 17 and too young to play. But he led the under-20 teams to The Junior World Cup Championship the following year.
22. Maradona was appointed Boca Juniors sports vice-president in 2005 but left for England a year later after helping them gain the championship.
23. After calling the ‘Hand of God’ goal the ‘Hand of Rascal’, the former England manager Sir Bobby Robson famously said ‘With Maradona, Arsenal could have won the World Cup’.
24. The documentary made about him by Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
25. His fans started a “Church of Maradona” in Buenos Aires in 1998. They count every year as ‘the year of Diego’ (despues de Diego). October 30, 2020 was 60 D.D
26. The French show ‘Les guignols de l’info’ has a puppet that looks like Maradona.
27. Maradona received his first football gift from his uncle at the age of three. His uncle also saved him when he fell inside a septic tank with the.
28. Maradona didn’t agree to go to the 2006 World Cup opening ceremony in Germany and when asked he said, ‘ I’m not here to look at bloody Pelé walking around’.
29. In 2009, Italian officials said Maradona owed €37 million and more than half the money was interest on the original debt.
30. Maradona averaged 0.526 goals per game in domestic club competitions.
31. The Tartan Army, a Scottish fan group has a chant in praise of Maradona for sending England, their neighbor, out of the 1986 World Cup.
32. Maradona was made the Goodwill Ambassador of The Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM) in 2006.
33. Maradona broke the record transfer fee twice when he transferred to Barcelona for £5 million and then to Napoli for £6.9 million.
34. Italian former defenders, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini described Maradona as the toughest player they had ever played against.
35. Maradona and Messi are the only players to have won the Golden Ball at both the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup.
36. Maradona published his autobiography ‘Yo Soy El Diego’ (I am The Diego) in 2000 and donated the Cuban royalty of his book to Cubans.
37. Maradona was given the Diamond Konex award, one of the most prestigious cultural awards in Argentina by The Argentine-based Konex Foundation in 1990, for his contribution to sport.
38. When asked why he smashed a photographer’s car window for being intrusive, Maradona said he did it with a ‘hand of reason’ the same way he scored a goal with the ‘hand of God’.
39. Bob Wilson described Diego as a flawed genius who became a genius who is flawed.
40. Maradona is one of the few players to be applauded by the opposing fans after dribbling past Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Agustin and defender Juan Jose and the scored a goal.
41. One of the 10 commandments of the Church of Diego includes honoring the temples where he played and his sacred shirts.
42. Maradona took Napoli to their second Serie A win in 1989-90 together with Bruno Giordona and Careca and they were called the ‘Ma-Gi-Ca (magic) front line.
43. In an interview with the weekly magazine Gene in Buenos Aires in 1996, Maradona said he was, and would always be a drug addict, and he was going to fight the addiction every day.
44. The authorities at the Azteca Stadium built a statue of him scoring the ‘Goal of the Century’ in front of their stadium as a tribute to his Excellency.
45. Maradona only recognized Dalma and Giannina as his only legitimate children and said his other 6 children are a product of his money and mistakes.
46. The signed shirt with a message of support that Maradona gifted Irans in 2007 is on display in the Country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs museum.
47. He was featured as a legendary player in both FIFA 18 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.
48. Diego Costa was named in honor of Maradona despite the rivalry between Argentina and Brazil.
49. Footage of Maradona celebrating Argentina winning the 1986 World Cup was featured in the music video of the 2010 World Cup song ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira.
50. Maradona holds the record for making the highest number of appearances as captain of any country in a World Cup. He led Argentina on 16 occasions.
51. Maradona is the 5th highest Argentina goal scorer after Lionel Messi, Gabriel Batistuta, Sergio Aguero, and Hernan Crespo.
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