Diego Maradona: Barcelona and Boca Juniors to play tribute match in Saudi Arabia

Set to happen on the 25,000-seat capability Mrsool Park Stadium within the capital metropolis of Riyadh on December 14, the Maradona Cup pays tribute to the reminiscence of the enduring Argentine, who died from heart failure in November final 12 months on the age of 60.

Broadly considered one of many best gamers within the sport’s historical past, Maradona signed for Boca in 1981, his first of two spells on the Buenos Aires membership.

The diminutive Argentine received the league title earlier than, simply earlier than the 1982 World Cup in Spain, departing for Barcelona for a then world-record payment of $7.6 million.

Although harm ravaged his two-year spell with the Catalan membership — together with hepatitis and a damaged ankle — Maradona nonetheless lifted three titles: the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Tremendous Cup and the Spanish League Cup.

Whereas he would return to Boca for the ultimate two years of his membership profession in 1995, it was in Napoli that Maradona would carve his legacy as a bonafide footballing icon.

Welcomed to Naples by a crowd of 70,000 on the Stadio San Paolo, Maradona can be develop into a deity-like determine throughout his seven years within the Southern Italian metropolis. Guiding the membership to their first ever Serie A title in 1987, he would lead Napoli to their second three years later, in addition to successful the Italian Cup and UEFA Cup.

Such is his enduring adoration within the metropolis that, instantly following his dying final 12 months, Naples metropolis council officially renamed Napoli’s stadium the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.


It was throughout his time at Napoli that Maradona consolidated his legacy as a world family title, inspiring Argentina to their second World Cup triumph in Mexico in 1986.

Maradona dazzled all through the event, taking part in each minute, aiding 5 and scoring six — two of which, in opposition to England within the quarterfinal, have since gone down in historical past for his or her respective infamy and incredulity.

The crafty of the ‘Hand of God’ purpose, which noticed Maradona punch the ball over goalkeeper Peter Shilton, was swiftly adopted up by the chic ability of the trouble since voted ‘Purpose of the Century.’ Dancing previous a string of England defenders earlier than rounding Shilton, the purpose cemented Maradona’s standing as a real footballing icon.

His glittering time in soccer was contrasted by quite a lot of controversies off the pitch. His well-documented dependancy, substance abuse, illegitimate kids and feuds over cash all blighted the Argentinian at numerous levels all through his profession.

Maradona, being carried by fans after winning the 1981 local championship with Boca Juniors at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.

Throughout his time in Italy, he got here into contact with the Camorra — the Neapolitan mafia — and struggled with dependancy. He failed a drug check in 1991 and acquired a 15-month ban from the sport.

Following his retirement, Maradona’s subsequent nomadic managerial profession took him from a chaotic spell accountable for the Argentinian nationwide staff to the home league within the United Arab Emirates.

His time accountable for Mexican membership Dorados, which was documented within the behind-the-scenes Netflix sequence “Maradona in Mexico,” was surprisingly profitable, however finally ended with two slender promotion playoff defeats.

‘Diego is everlasting’

In November final 12 months, he underwent profitable surgical procedure for a subdural hematoma — extra generally referred to as a blood clot on the mind — however died later that month, sending a wave of mourning across the soccer world as tributes rolled in.
Maradona looks on before a match between Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata and Velez.

“He leaves us however he would not go anyplace as a result of Diego is everlasting,” Lionel Messi, typically considered the fashionable day incarnation of Maradona, mentioned on Instagram.

“I hold all the attractive moments lived with him and I wished to ship my condolences and greatest needs to all of his family and friends,” Messi added.

5 months in the past, seven medical professionals in Argentina have been charged with homicide over Maradona’s dying following a damning investigation that declared the medical staff had “violated the duties that every one was accountable for” which subsequently “led to the deadly consequence of the affected person that, in any other case, may have been prevented,” in accordance with courtroom paperwork.

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