Written by VP
The strength of his legs made up for his short height, as his left foot spawned magic. On the football field, none could match his skill. The world regaled as he scythed the best defensive formations of his times and netted the ball. That was Diego Armando Maradona, a soccer legend, who died of a heart attack at the age of 60.
As he grew up in the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in abject penury, he found an ally in football. At that time, Maradona did not know it would help him dribble past all his woes and delight the world like none had ever done before.
It was in the 1986 World Cup that Maradona, as the captain of the Argentinian team, led them to victory. Is there any soccer fan who has not heard of the ‘Hand of God’, as Maradonarose his to silently push the ball into the net against a much taller England goalkeeper? But those were not the times of sharp cameras or the third referee. So, many a serious foul committed against him also went unnoticed. His short but stout stature took it all, yet never gave in. Never complained.
Can any soccer-lover deny though that the man was a magician? Once the ball got stuck to his left foot, none could take it away. During the same tournament, he dribbled past a ring of defenders from the half-line and netted the ball. It is a moment that has gone down in history and will be viewed by soccer fans forever.
Marred by cocaine and alcohol addiction during his retirement days, he still remained a favourite of fans. Is it a wonder then that three days of mourning have been announced in Argentina after his death? What else can a hero of soccer want in his after-life? This is the stuff dreams are made of – a true rag to riches stories!
Maradona will keep inspiring future football greats. One among them, also from Argentina, Lionel Messi, wrote on social media, ‘He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal.”
Anyone who disagrees?
(From the editor’s desk, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)