Diego Maradona – the timeline of his career

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Diego Maradona will forever be remembered as one of the greatest football players of all time, inspiring several generations and laying down a legacy that will last and last.

Unfortunately, he died only 60 years old in 2020, but had made the world and the football game a more colorful and vibrant place during his lifetime.

Diego Armando Maradona?

Remember 10 ???????????? moments from ????? number 10, one year after his death … pic.twitter.com/9ujF2o7zbx

– 90 min (@ 90min_Football) 25 November 2021

Here’s a look at the crucial moments in his historic career …

Maradona was born and gave life to one of the greatest players of all time.

10 days before his 16th birthday, Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors against Talleres, becoming the youngest player in the Primera Division ever.

Maradona started her senior career incredibly young / AFP / GettyImages

Maradona made his international debut for Argentina as a 16-year-old against Hungary, although he missed the selection for the 1978 World Cup at home.

An 18-year-old Maradona scored the first of 34 international goals when Argentina beat Scotland in a friendly at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Maradona replaced Argentinos Juniors with Boca Juniors, the club he supported while growing up, and scored two goals in his debut against Talleres two days after joining.

Maradona had dreamed of playing for Boca Juniors from childhood / DIARIO POPULAR / GettyImages

Maradona left South America behind and signed his contract with Barcelona to become the world’s most expensive player for a transfer fee equivalent to 7.6 million dollars.

After watching as a fan in 1978, Maradona played his first World Cup match – his first of four tournaments. The match against Belgium ended with a 1-0 loss for Argentina.

Maradona was kicked out of the 1982 FIFA World Cup by Italian defender Claudio Gentile’s aggressive man selection in a bad mood match in Barcelona.

Maradona joined Barcelona as the most expensive player in the world / JOEL ROBINE / GettyImages

Maradona was applauded by Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu after his unplayable performance in a Barcelona victory in the 1983 Copa de La Liga final.

Maradona suffered a broken ankle after a tackle from Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Goikoetxea, nicknamed “Bilbao’s butcher”.

In another nasty affair against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final, Maradona was subjected to racist abuse from the audience and violent challenges. He took revenge and caused an uproar.

Maradona became the most expensive player in the world for the second time when he was presented in Napoli, a period that would define his club career.

Napoli broke world record in transfers to sign Maradona 1984 / Alessandro Sabattini / GettyImages

The world saw the best and worst of Maradona on the biggest stage of all when he scored his “Hand of God” goal against England and followed it up with one of the best goals of all time.

Maradona lifted the World Cup trophy as Argentina’s captain after La Albiceleste defeated West Germany 3-2 in an exciting final in Mexico City.

Maradona lifted the World Cup trophy as Argentina’s captain / El Grafico / GettyImages

Led by Maradona, Napoli won a first ever Serie A title. Only one other club – Cagliari 1970 – outside Rome or Italy’s rich north had ever won a Scudetto before.

Napoli ended a domestic double in 1986/87 when they beat Atalanta over two rounds in the Coppa Italia final, with Maradona as captain.

Maradona graced the European Cup for the first time when Napoli represented Italy in the competition, before being knocked out in the first round by Real Madrid.

Maradona lifted the UEFA Cup, Napoli’s first and only European trophy, after beating Stuttgart over two rounds in the final – he scored his team’s first goal of the match.

Maradona delivers Napoli’s first ever Serie A titles and European trophy / Alessandro Sabattini / GettyImages

Maradona’s Napoli finished ahead of reigning European champions AC Milan and won their second Serie A title. He scored 16 league goals during the campaign.

Maradona played for Argentina against Italy in the World Cup semi-final in Naples, and received the support of the local audience across his own country.

Maradona tested positive for cocaine and received a 15-month suspension from football. He never played for Napoli again and left the club in shame the following year.

With his drug ban over, Maradona moved back to Spain and on to Sevilla in the autumn of 1992, even though he only stayed one season.

Maradona returned to club football in South America for the first time in 11 years when he signed for Newell’s Old Boys on a contract that paid him four million dollars in advance and $ 25,000 per month.

The date of Maradona’s latest World Cup appearance and goal. His wide-eyed celebration against Greece has become infamous and he was sent home shortly after after a failed drug test.

Maradona played his last match for Argentina in 1994 / DANIEL GARCIA / GettyImages

Maradona played his last match in professional football five days before turning 37, helping Boca Juniors beat River Plate in Argentina’s iconic Superclasico.

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