Maradona, Diego Armando

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Maradona, Diego Armando

Diego Armando Maradona, 1960–, Argentinian soccer star. A strong forward with spectacular abilities, superb dribbling skills, and great personal flair, he began his career as a teenager playing for the Argentinos (1976–80) and Boca juniors (1981). Moving (1982) to Europe, he joined the Barcelona team and led them to the 1983 Spanish Cup. With Italy's Napoli club from 1984, he was instrumental to their winning five championship cups. In 1991, however, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended. Cocaine addiction subsequently plagued him, and he has been several times treated for addiction and health conditions resulting from it. He subseqently played with the Seville club (1992–93) in Spain and Newell's Old Boys (1993) in Rosario, Argentina, but without his old fire.

Maradona represented Argentina on its World Cup teams in 1982 and 1986, the latter year as a captain who dominated the games and led his team to victory with his infamous "hand of God" goal. He was again captain of the 1990 and 1994 national teams, but during the 1994 World Cup he failed another drug test (for ephedrine) and was again suspended. He attempted a comeback in 1995 with the Boca Juniors, but retired two years later after again failing a drug test. He was the head coach from 2008 to 2010 of the Argentinian national soccer team and from 2011 to 2012 of Dubai's Al Wasl soccer club.

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