Diego Maradona hospitalised

BBC News article

Rumours of another heart attack, a possible drug overdose - again. Diego, Diego…

As much as I love the man, I’m afraid he’s going to be another Elvis. :frowning:

Latest news (In spanish)

Apparently it was not an overdose. The man suffers from a weak heart.

Well, all right. Although it’s a bit academic, cause we all know why he has a weak heart in the first place.

No offense intended, I know how much of a hero he is in your country. Hell, he’s a hero in MY country. And just about every other country on the planet, with the possible exception of England. :wink:

And apparently America. And I suspect most of Asia and Africa. Who is this guy?

Trust me, he’s very well known in Asia and Africa. Matter of fact, I’d say his name has to be among the top 50 most universally recognised names on the planet. Seriously.

Diego Armando Maradona is, simply put, one of the greatest football (soccer) players that ever lived. He singlehandedly led the 1986 Argentinian national team to the World Championship final, and won the title. In 1990, his team managed second place behind Germany. His glory days were spent playing for Napoli in Italy. He’s still the closest thing to a Saint one can imagine in that city. They adore him like they would Jesus Christ himself - and I’m not joking.

Throughout his career, Diego battled drug addiction. It got him kicked out of Napoli in shame, and made for a triumphant return on the 1994 world cup in the US. He was older, and slightly out of shape, but he STILL rocked. And later it was found out he tested positive for cocaine during that tournament… another shame.

He spent a few months with his good buddy Fidel Castro about 2 years ago, trying to lose weight and quite drugs.

Maradona in his prime, playing in the Argentinian national jersey, which incidently is the most gorgeous sports jersey in the world, bar none.

Diego more recently, and that’s not the worst pic I can find of him.

It’s a sad, sad story, that can end nowhere but in tears. Diego’s too weak, and will kill himself some day, either by drugs or otherwise. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear I’m right. :frowning:

So he played soccer well and he’s adored by millions as a living god?

I don’t get sports worship. Jordan was pretty cool, but as much for being a good guy all-around as being really skilled. This guy doesn’t sound all that, idolizable. Why did he inspire so much love? I mean, if Michael Jordan was in a car wreck (even one caused by his “long-standing car troubles”) you probably wouldn’t see weepy fans kissing his picture outside the hospital.

:confused:

Basketball worship in the States simply isn’t comparable to soccer worship in most of the rest of the world.

While the comparison with Jordan is a fair one based on skill alone (both were the absolute kings of their game), I’m going to have to agree with ruadh here and say that as a sport, football means a lot more to people in South America and Southern European countries, than basketball means to people in the US. I’m not trying to put this into “us vs. them” terms, but it just is.

You guys have 3, 4 major sports competing for air time, each with their following. In countries like Argentina, football is 95% of all sports. Period. Winning the world cup equals winning a war. It’s that big.

http://www.maradona10.nl/html/napoli2.php

Smiling bandit, go to the above link, and download the top video. It’s Maradona, warming up before a game in 1989. Those who know it will nod in agreement, and those who don’t ought to sit back and enjoy the show.

Both were great at using their hands to get the ball in the net :wink:

Fro those wondering about that look at the “Hand of God” video on this page then look at what he did after that in the same match it description is “The best goal of soccer history!” and it is indeed a cracker.

Another reason for the level of worship is the World Cup. Major soccer stars also play for their home country. As you can imagine, this can cause emotions to run. For example, my countries greatest player, Roy Keane, is coming back to play for Ireland. As a 30 year old man I shouldn’t be so excited about this but I am. That’s football and that’s something no other sport can touch (imho).

As for Maradonna quite simply he is the greatest player to ever play the game. FIFA (an extremely corrupt organization) have done their best to downplay Maradonna’s contribution to football in favour of Pele. Any true fan though will tell you that Maradonna really is the greatest ever. The '86 Argentinian team was a fairly poor team that he single handidly dragged to the final. Contrast that with the Brazillian team of 1970 which had the midfield in history. I could have scored playing on that team (I’m seeing Gerson hitting me upside the head with a 40 yards curler and it bouncing into the goal). Napoli were a small Italian club and they won 2 title’s in the 80’s with Maradonna. In the 80’s the Italian league was by far the best in the world and he dominated it (even as Van Basten & Gullit were on the rise). The best player EVER.

As an aside, I think George Best is the only player who could come near Maradonna when it came to sheer talent…of course, Best wasted his with booze.

Of course it should be pointed out that there are plenty of Irish people who profoundly disagree with you …

And some Americans, apparently. :smiley:

Oh, Lochdale, I’ll see your George Best and raise you a Marco van Basten. :slight_smile:

Quite literally, in fact- the first Diegorian Church, the Hand of God, was consecrated a few years back. Yes, he really has his own religion.

Besides, Michael Jordan fans are generally affluent (or at least not impoverished) middle-class kids who love him not only because he was a great player but because you can buy his shoes.

The vast majority of Maradona’s fans are poor enough that watching football may be the only leisure activity they can afford. Imagine for a second that your TV only picked up Green Bay Packers games and the news. Brett Favre would be a pretty important figure in your life, no?

Plus, whatever drug issues Diego might have had, he was, and presumably remains, a generous man. He was Argentina’s Ayrton Senna in that he gave as much as half of his earnings to charity, and regularly took kids from the slums into his own home.

Cruyff has them all beat.

The Keane issue is indeed a contentious one (I was in Japan during the 2002 WC fiasco) but he remains our greatest ever player (even better then Brady or Mcgrath). He will bring some gravitas to the Irish team…anyways, who the hell else will be able to slow down Viera and Zidane?

Van Basten was good but Best was, well, better. A lot better actually. Best is recognized by most pundits as one of the greatest ever players. He was also a more complete player then Van Basten in that he could use both feet and he was a ferocious tackler which Van Basten was anything but. Best could play centre mid!

Cruyff was a great player and a great innovator but then he failed when Bertie Vogts marked him out of it in '74. His petulence also handed the Argentinians the WC (that and dodgy, corrupte refs) in 1978. Great player but not the best. Diego has that honour.

I agree with you in that Maradona’s the greatest of all time, better than Pele and even the mighty Johan Cruyff. There’s not even any patriotic shame in admitting that: Diego was just that good. Doesn’t even matter if he’s scoring against your own team, all you can do is stare in amazement.

As for Van Basten vs. Best, I wouldn’t be too sure. Granted, being a Dutchman I’ve been exposed to a hell of a lot more Van Basten footage than I have seen of Georgie, which is compounded by the fact that Best -being Northern Irish- never really entered the international spotlight on the big tournaments. But one has to bear in mind that when Van Basten was pretty much crippled for life, he was a mere 27 years old. By that time, he’d racked up three national titles with Ajax, three more with AC Milan, he won the Dutch cup three times, the Europe Cup I two times with Milan, the Europe Cup II with Ajax, AND he was a vital part of the 1988 Dutch championship winning team. In addition, he was named both European player of the year as well as FIFA player of the year three times. Each.

There’s no telling how much more he could have won, if it weren’t for that damned ankle.

I’m sorry, I realise Van Basten got a head start on Best by being Dutch and starting young at Ajax, but given the evidence, I’d have to say Van Basten was just better than Best.

Not that it matters, 'cause Diego is King.

As for the 1978 world cup, MAN was that a bought game or what? Videla wanted his side to win, and by God, that’s what happened. Rensenbrink hitting the post… I still can’t see that without cringing. Damn you to hell, Mario Kempes, brilliant though you are.

We shall not even discuss 1974. :frowning:

To clarify: I’ll grant you that Best was a lot more versatile than Van Basten ever could have been, I just don’t see how that in itself makes him better. Van Basten was a striker as pure as they come, and he excelled at that alone.

Coldfire wrote:

I’m sorry, I realise Van Basten got a head start on Best by being Dutch and starting young at Ajax, but given the evidence, I’d have to say Van Basten was just better than Best.

I’m sorry Coldfire but you are very wrong on this one. Van Basten was a magnificent striker and there can be no doubting his immense talent. He is one of the greatest strikers of all time. That said, Best was just a much more versitile player then Van Basten was. Put another way, Best would be more valuable to a team because he could a lot more then Van Basten could. Best didn’t always play as an out-an-out striker but as a winger and even a fullback! His goal scroing record for a winger is extraordinary as is the number of assists. Best could creat goals on his own but he could also create them for his teammates. He was a significantly better dribbler then Van Basten (equally good with both feet) and was much tougher then Van Basten (remeber, this was the '60’s when English football was a true contact sport). Van Basten couldn’t tackle so he was worthless against teams that used fullbacks against wingbacks. Best was great in the air (amazingly) and was a very strong defensive winger due to his toughness and endurance. Overall, Best just brings much, much more to the table then Van Basten. With Best you get an amazing striker and so much more. Football is more then just poaching in the 6 yard box.

Also, anyone who’s autobiography is called “GEORGE BEST THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE BUBBLY” is better in my book :slight_smile: