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20 Fascinating Facts About Diego Maradona, Football’s One Of The Most Flawed Icons

Diego Maradona

December 5th, 2020   |   Updated on June 28th, 2022

He was extraordinary, genius.  He escaped the poverty of his youth, rose to fame and became the football’s greatest players ever.

He will forever remembered for his  flair, flamboyance, vision and speed, and of course for his controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal. Here are 20 fascinating facts about Diego Maradona, football’s one of the most flawed icons.

1. Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina, scoring 34 goals.

2. He had the record for making the most number of appearances as captain of any country in a World Cup. He skippered Argentina on 16 occasions.

3. In total, he made 21 appearances in World Cup tournaments.

4. Maradona was part of the Argentina youth squad that won the 1979 Youth World Cup in Japan.

5. He had a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm, and a portrait of Fidel Castro tattooed on his left leg.

6. Maradona holds the record for suffering the most number of fouls in a World Cup – 53, during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

7. Maradona skippered Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, beating West Germany 3-2 in the final.

8. In the 1994 World Cup in the USA, Maradona played only two games – scoring one goal against Greece – as he was sent home after failing a doping test.

9. Maradona married Claudia Villafane on November 7, 1989 in Buenos Aires, but the pair divorced in 2004.

10. He was confirmed as the manager of Argentina’s national team in October 2008.

11. Maradona died on November 25, 2020 – the anniversary of both George Best and Fidel Castro, no less – after suffering a fatal heart attack.

12. The Argentine Football Association (AFA) once put in a request to FIFA to retire the No.10 shirt in honour of Maradona. The request was denied.

13. Maradona had a lookalike puppet in the French show ‘Les guignols de l’info’.

14. Maradona averaged 0.526 goals-per-game in domestic club competitions.

15. He is the fifth highest goalscorer for Argentina, behind Lionel Messi, Gabriel Batistuta, Sergio Aguero and Hernan Crespo.

16. Maradona is the only player in the history of football to have broken the record transfer fee twice.

17. He and Messi are the only players to have won the Golden Ball at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup.

18. In 2000, he published his autobiography “Yo Soy El Diego”, meaning “I Am The Diego.” He donated the Cuban royalties of his book to the Cuban people.

19. He did not make the 1978 World Cup team as, at 17 years old, he was considered to be too young by then-coach Cesar Luis Menotti.

20. Maradona was featured as a legendary player in FIFA 18 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.