Tribune. And suddenly, on November 25, 2020, precisely four years after the death of Fidel (whom he venerated) and even as the day for the elimination of violence against women (which he was beating) was being celebrated, the Argentina and the world began to cry for Diego. “The Golden boy”, the greatest genius in the history of football, the hubris made man.
Diego is a proletarian dream who, thanks to his touch of the ball and the power of his support, has managed to extricate himself from the miserable slum of Villa Fiorito, in the southern suburbs of Buenos Aires where he had grown up, to become a planetary star and millionaire.
Diego is a lucky guy who was not selected in the national selection for the 1978 World Cup, that of shame that was certainly won by Argentina on his land, but at the end of which it would have been necessary to assume the victory bought against Peru and shake hands with butcher Videla.
Diego is more courageous than Pelé who never dared to leave Brazil. He became a star when he left Argentinos Juniors, the club of his professional beginnings, to sign for Barcelona in 1982. Every Rambla nightclub still remembers the day when Andoni Goikoetxea of Atletico Bilbao broke his ankle.
Diego has a hollow nose when he signs in Naples in 1984, the only city in the world that has even fewer limits than him. Two championships and an Italian Cup, a UEFA Cup, a lot of cocaine, very dangerous links with the Camorra and endless debts to the peninsular tax authorities.
Diego is at the top of his game when he wields the only real World Cup won by Argentina, in 1986, after eliminating England alone in the quarter-finals. The hand of God and the goal of the century as nationalist revenge after the Falklands War. “Cosmic kite, what planet did you come from to leave so many English behind?” (“Cosmic kite, what planet did you come from to leave so many English people behind?”)
Diego was bad when he lost the final of a new World Cup in 1990. But he at least demonstrated that the Italian nation did not exist by being acclaimed by the Neapolitan public during the semi-final between Argentina and Italy.
Diego is the shadow of himself in the United States in 1994. From outside the box, he plants a perfect window against Greece. But he gets caught by the patrol for stuffing himself with ephedrine and leaves the international arena through the back door.
Diego goes to great lengths, for his last professional seasons at Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors, training with the flawless Ben Johnson. During his last lap of honor at La Bombonera, it is said that the lawn was flooded with her tears and those of the hinchas.
Diego drinks too much, smokes too much, snorts too much. When he was close to death in 2004, he had to resort to socialist and Cuban medicine. “I feel Cuban” (“I feel Cuban”), he says gratefully, fourteen years later, arriving in Havana for Fidel’s funeral.
Diego has a heart that leans to the left in the 2000s and supports Chávez, Lula and the Palestinian cause by regularly showing off a tattoo of Che on his right bicep. The perennial consciousness that it will always be a descamisado.
Diego insults the international press when he leads the Argentine selection and gets fired without ever having obtained results. And, even worse, after a 4-0 humiliation against Germany during the 2010 World Cup.
Diego travels a lot in his new coaching career, from Belarus to Mexico via the United Arab Emirates and Dubai, but never losing sight of Argentina which he supports during the 2018 World Cup by pointing fingers. anger – and perhaps a little racist – honor to his Nigerian opponents.
Dead before it is really too late, Diego remains alive in Naples where the San Paolo stadium was renamed the Diego Armando Maradona stadium on the very day of his death. Diego remains alive in the interrupted line of his supporters at the Casa Rosada, on the first of three days of national mourning decreed by the president, Alberto Fernández. Like Carlos Gardel who was accompanied by a huge crowd from the port of La Boca to the cemetery of La Chacarita in 1936, a few months after his death in a plane crash in Colombia. Like Evita that an endless procession accompanied until her last rest in Recoleta in 1952. This is the definitive proof of the existence of D10S.
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Olivier Compagnon professor of contemporary history at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Institute of Latin American Studies)