A skillful midfielder capable of scoring spectacular goals, Argentina’s Diego Maradona was considered the best soccer player in the world during the 1980s. In 1986 he led Argentina to a World Cup title.
Biografia: Diego Maradona, born in 1960, Argentine soccer player, who led Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986. An outstanding midfielder, considered the heir to Brazilian player Pelé as the world's best player, Maradona earned praise and respect from players and fans for his brilliant play-making and goal-scoring abilities. He achieved celebrity status throughout the world and led a highly visible and extravagant life.
He was born Diego Armando Maradona in Lanús, near Buenos Aires. The son of a factory worker, he began playing soccer for Las Cebollitas, a children's team, at the age of nine. At the age of 16 he was the youngest player to join Argentina's national team. Though he was already a star when Argentina hosted the World Cup in 1978, Maradona was not selected for that year's national team and did not participate in his country's victory in the tournament. In 1979, however, he was voted South American player of the year. He led Argentina to its second World Cup title in 1986 and to the finals in 1990. He played for the professional soccer team of Barcelona in Spain from 1982 to 1984 and was then acquired in 1984 by Napoli, an Italian team from the city of Naples. With his help Napoli won the Italian League title for the first time in 1989.
Maradona encountered career problems after he was accused of drug use in 1991. That year he was dropped by the Naples team and barred from international competition for 15 months while facing drug charges in Argentina. In September 1992 he rejoined international soccer when he was signed by Seville, a team from Seville, Spain. Maradona struggled with Seville and was released by the team after one season. Despite having admitted that the training sessions overwhelmed him, he returned to Argentina in 1993 to attempt another professional comeback. During the 1994 World Cup, however, Maradona received a 15-month suspension from international competition for testing positive for banned drugs. He subsequently became coach of the Argentine soccer team Racing Club, but he resigned the post in mid-1995. Later that year, when his playing ban expired, Maradona joined the Boca Juniors team of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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