Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I feel like starting a new section in this blog devoted to Argentina and sports (in no particular order!).

Every now and then I will feel like publishing an entry about a character in particular and what I feel about him/her.

I'll write something like: "THE OWNER OF THIS BLOG LOVES (......)" -and then I'll fill in the dotted line with a name-

And some other time I'll go like this: "THE OWNER OF THIS BLOG....
FEELS SORRY FOR, and a lot of different emotions/opinions about several celebrities/personalities.

I'll also offer a space for you to vent out your emotions/opinions on anybody from the sporting world.

This will give us reasons to talk about individuals in particular and express our feelings towards them.

I hope we can do it with all due respect to all the individuals named here and I'll avoid violence. If I don't like one or two characters, then I'll explain why but I'll do it with respect.

At the same time if you don't like one of the individuals I admire, I ask you to be polite and to give us your reasons without being offensive.

That said...I'll get the ball rolling by saying:



Because he was the best player I've ever seen live on a football pitch.Because he led my country to the most beautiful victory of all our history by winning the Mexico 86 World Cup almost by himself.
Because he scored the most beautiful goal in history of football.
Because he made a million mistakes and he paid for them with his health, his money, his career.
Because he dreamt his whole life of playing in a World Cup and winning it with the Albiceleste.
Because you'll never find a former team-mate saying bad things about him.
Because he decided not to join the establishment (which would have been the easiest path to take).
Because he IS football to me.

I get angry when the first thing I hear from people who hate MARADONA is: "He is a fat cheating drug addict". At the same time, I reckon those people have nothing to object if they had to talk only about football so they opt to speak about his off-the-pitch troubles.

Let's face it, nobody was capable of doing the things DIEGO did so naturally when he made the beautiful game look even more pretty. And while doing it he made Argentinos Juniors (his first club) popular around the World. Then took Napoli to glory for the first time in their history. He made the poor South of Italy happy by constantly defeating the big powerhouses from the North (Juve-Inter-Milan) and by winning 2 league titles and a UEFA Cup.

DIEGO: I felt terribly bad when your health was so compromised. I felt horrible when you made thousands of troubles in your public life (I'm not talking about personal life here. I'm talking about scandals in public.) but I know you were the one paying for those mistakes. Maybe you'll keep on paying for them until the end of your days.
But the happiness you gave to the people of your country and those supporting you and Argentina from every corner of the Earth is a million times bigger and will remain forever.
Like those memories when I first saw you live on a football pitch.

Your World Champion Argentina were playing a friendly match against Germany in Buenos Aires in 1987 (a year after both teams faced off in the World Cup final in Mexico) and you started doing keepy-uppy with an orange and then magically you sent the ball from the ground all the way over your shoulder to catch it with your hand while turning around facing the crowd with a smile in your face like if what you had just done was as easy as breathing. Up there, a few meters from the corner flag, there was a lucky 9-year-old child, who is now writing these lines, recording everything in his mind and knowing that from that moment on football for him had changed forever.

Because you ARE and you WILL EVER BE football.

Gracias Diego!


ArgToWin said...

Maradona was the main reason I began to be an Argentine fan. This was 1990 world cup. An Argentine team that was not the strongest then, but the mere presence of Maradona made a huge difference on the pitch. It was his leadership abilities on the pitch which I thought was most profound and not much written about it in this part of the world. Western soccer medias tend not to emphasize Maradona's strength or influence as a leader, although they have no choice but to agree grudgingly that Maradona is the most skillful soccer player the world has ever produced. Maradona single-handed marshalled a slightly above average team all the way to the Final of 1990. I remember every Argentine games during 90 WC with great pleasure, and have been an Argentine supporter since, not just soccer but every game I can get hold of on TV.

John said...

Hi Everyone,

To me Maradona is the greatest player in the world. Some might argue that is was Pele. Well now I'll tell you why.

First of all, Pele won three WC with three great teams. He was surrounded by great players such as Vava, Garincha, Rivelino, Tostao and many more. If there was a player that can come close to Diego, for me it will be Johan Cryuff. But then, he could not led his country to victory when it really matters

However when Argentina won the WC in 1986, it was all due to Diego and Diego himself. He carried the team like no captain I've ever seen (move aside Roy Keane!!!). He shoulder upon a responsibility that was bigger than a whole nation. He did things like no other could ever do. Watching him playing is like falling in love with the girl of your dreams.

His lifestory is very much similiar to George Best. Both players had to battle their own personal demons but in the end who won the fight?

To me Diego Maradona is the true FIFA Player Of The Century because he won it based on internet votes. Just like The Rock in WWE, he is the true people's champions.

If I had one wish, that wish would be to be seated next to him and watch my beloved Argentina win the World Cup. To be honest its because of him that I've always felt that I love Argentina more than anything else.

For this Diego if you are reading this blog, I'd like to say gracias for making me love football.



alwin said...

Hi Seba and all,

There could not have been a better person to start with than the GREAT DIEGO. I could not agree more with you on this little dimunitive person who has Monstrerous talents that would dwarf any player who would ever come near. He is just out of this world and to me i love Argentina because of you DIEGO, if you come across this blog and read this lines...i would want to thank you for what you have gave to me in football.

I was in awe when i see you play everytime, and even until now when there is a clip about you i just get goose bumps all over..i feel my heart beat faster..i fell in love with football because of you and You will forever by my ultimate footballing Hero.

Thanks alot Seba for giving us this opportunity to voice our opinions for the people that have changed each and everyones live in sport.

Diego..."You are a living proof that you were born with the ball at your feet"

Muchos Gracias,

Anonymous said...

Maradona is a FAT CHEATING DRUG ADDICT... :)
he is the worst player in history...

John said...


I have a question for you? Lets not forget the other No.10 Mario Kempes. Afterall it was him he took us to glory in 1978. What dou thing about him?


Seba said...

KEMPES is a football commentator now working for ESPN Latinamerica.

Unfortunatelly I've never seen him playing live on a pitch but no one can deny his skills and power.

However, he is nowhere near Diego when it comes to relevance World wide or influence on the game and society.

Despite being our first World Cup and playing at home, the 1978 WC came in the darkest times in the history of this country and that tends to put it behind the 1986 in the public preference.

There was this feeling about the WC being corrupted and so on...

Plus...the party was never complete because while everybody was celebrating, people were still being hunted down by the military goverment and families were destroyed forever.

That made 1978 a "sad victory" for many of us.

I was just 1-year of age so I don't remember a thing about it but what I'm saying is in the books and in the memory of many generations of Argentinians.

I must say that despite the circumstances, that was a fine team and KEMPES was one of the best. His performance against Holland was sublime and it is a shame that those players were somehow in the shadows of a sad military goverment.

Allan said...

Diego is surely the best footballer ever.

Look at what happened to Napoli after Diego left them.

And then you read all those comments that other great footballers had for him, he really was special.

I am reading a book called "Once upon a time in Naples" written by John Ludden, about Maradona's times in Naples. Although the writer doesn't seem to like him much, it is still quite fascinating to read through that part of his live once again. How Maradona was able to beat Baresi, Maldini, Baggio and then taught Zola how to play.

Diego is just an amazing footballer.


john / author of Once Upon a time in Naples said...

Hi Alan,
i hope you are enjoying the book. Please dont think i dislike Maradona, indeed I think he is the greatest player that ever lived. In fact you are the first person to quote this, every review i have had seemed to think i went easy on him !
Take it easy,

andaman said...

Maradona is the reason I start to be an Argentina fan. He was an amazing player. I read his biography twice and like him even more. He is as amazing a person as his football.

Thank you for all the good times you've given us. I still have good times even now watching my collection of your matches. GRACiAS again Diego!!!

I have to get your book John.


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