As the football world says goodbye to an undeniably great player, sometimes the diminutive Argentinian is disrespected in England. This is as Diego Maradona tore England apart in the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous “hand of god” goal, and then following that up with one of the greatest goals in World Cup history.
This goal is often forgotten, especially here in England, but we are forgetting that El Pibe was the greatest player in the world at the time. He was never eligible for the Ballon D’or, as a Non-European, but he surely would have won it at least once.
Whilst in Naples, Maradona carried the side to the 1986/87 Serie A title, and has been heralded as a saviour of southern Italian football. Children were named after him, murals painted on city buildings and now the stadium San Paulo will be renamed after Diego.
But, how does he compare to the two greats at current?
Messages have flooded in from around the football world, but Messi said that he saw him as the greatest player ever. That is what it comes down to, who your loyalties lie with. Maradona is disrespected in England due to a mutual dislike, especially traditionally, between the two countries. This is because of the falklands war, which coincided with the start of Maradonas career in Europe.
He then harmed his reputation further by his performance in the 1986 World Cup, and ever since he has remained as a disrespected talent here in England.
We as a nation also idolise the Brazilian style of play. Pele vs Maradona is often used as a narrative, but it boils down to Brazil vs Argentina.
Diego Maradona deserves to be considered as one of, if not the greatest player in history, and the memories he has left the world of football with are some of the best ever.
A legendary player who will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Diego Maradona.
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By Sam Hutchison