Maradona: The best player ever?

Diego Maradona is one of the best players in the history of football. His performance in the 1986 World Cup was one of the best in history. Though his accomplishments on the pitch speak for itself, he battled other demons such as the famous brawl while at Barcelona and his cocaine addiction.

Maradona’s accomplishments

The most prestigious tournament to win is the World Cup, obviously, and Maradona had one of the most historic World Cup performances of all-time. His performance in the 1986 World Cup was best known for three games against England, Belgium, and West Germany. In the quarterfinals versus England, Maradona scored twice—the first is the infamous “Hand of God ” when he struck the ball with his hand. There was no VAR back then, luckily. The second goal is known as the “Goal of the Century”. He ran across the field juking five English defenders to score a spectacular goal. Even today it’s considered the best goal ever. He scored twice in the semi-finals vs Belgium. In the final, Maradona had the game-winning assist in a 3-2 victory against West Germany. Maradona scored or assisted on 10 of 14 Argentinas goals, created more than half of Argentina’s shots and attempted 90 dribbles. He won the Golden Ball unanimously and carried Argentina to the title. He got tremendous praise from media members all around the world.

Although his team lost 1-0 in the 1990 World Cup final versus West Germany, Maradona was not healthy. He was playing through an ankle injury. Argentina barely made it out of the group stage but then made it all the way to the final. In the semifinals against Italy, he converted a penalty kick to help his team advance on penalties. He had success playing for Napoli leading Napoli to their first Serie A title in the 1986-87 season and also won in 1989-90 season. He scored 81 goals in 188 appearances. Earlier in his career, Maradona had tremendous success with Argentinos Juniors 116 goals in 167 appearances. 

Maradona’s Failures

Maradona’s transfer to Barcelona did not end well. He got into a brawl in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao which led to his career ending with Barcelona. Maradona had cocaine addiction for over 20 years—a demon he’s battled quite publicly. He played only two games in the 1994 World Cup after failing a drug test.

Maradona’s accomplishments outweigh his failures. Nobody in football has had a perfect career. Everyone will have accomplishments and failures no matter how great they are. Maradona is definitely one of the best players in football history. 

But is he THE best?

Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Images

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