Diego Armando Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, in Villa Fiorito, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was raised in an underprivileged family and spent his adolescence playing football in the streets of his neighborhood.
He made his debut at the age of 16 and throughout his professional career he played 692 official games scoring 352 goals. He played 90 games for the Argentine National Team and scored 33 goals, 8 of them in world cups. He was a five time maximum scorer and got 10 titles with: National Juvenile World Cup (1979), Boca Juniors (1981), Barcelona (Copa del Rey 1983), World Cup (Mexico, 1986), Napoli (Scudetto 1987 and 1990); Italian Cup (1987), UEFA Cup (1989), Italian Supercup (1991) and Artemio Franchi Cup (1993).
His first team was called Estrella Roja (Red Star) and was founded by his father for the neighborhood boys. One of the players was Gregorio "El Goyo" Carrizo, who played in the lower divisions of Argentinos Juniors, and who helped Diego to be part of the team called "Los Cebollitas" (the small onions). With only 14 years of age, he astounded the public at his first game with the team and gained reputation and respect as a player. With "Los Cebollitas" he kept a winning spree of over one hundred games.
At 16 he made his debut in the first division of the club Argentinos Juniors and soon after he scored his first goal against San Lorenzo de Mar del Plata. He played for Argentinos Juniors until 1980, totaling 166 games where he scored 115 goals.
In 1977, he debuted with the Argentine National Team against Hungary and in the 1978 World Cup, Menotti (National Teams' coach) excluded him from the team arguing lack of experience.
In the Juvenile World Cup held in Japan in 1979, Maradona was the captain and the team had an implacable campaign winning the Juvenile World Champion in Tokyo.
Afterwards, Diego signed with the Boca Juniors Athletic Club and played his first game with them in 1981 scoring 2 goals against Talleres de Córdoba team and the team eventually won the national championship by Diego Armando Maradona's hand.
In 1984 he began to play for the Italian club "Napoli" and debuted at the San Paolo stadium during the Italian Cup where he scored the winning goal. From then on, Diego started a winning spree with Napoli and earned them their first championship (Scudetto) in the history of the club during the '86-'87 season.
In the 1986 World Cup Championship, held in Mexico, the Argentine National Team led by the coach Carlos Bilardo obtained the world's title after defeating Germany 3-2 in the final game.
The most controversial game of the championship was against England where Diego scored two goals. The first one was very questioned by the famous maneuver later called "La Mano de Dios" (God's Hand) where it was argued that Maradona used his hand to score the goal, while the second goal is considered to be the best goal of all the times. Diego took the ball behind the midfield line and after avoiding all the English players who were trying to stop him, he kept going and scored.
In the decade of 1990, his reputation and his ability were damaged by his addiction to drugs, which he tried to control in various opportunities, including a detoxification in a clinic in Cuba.
In July of 1990, Maradona played his second final in a World Cup, Italy ' 90, where Germany defeated Argentina for 1-0.
Meanwhile, he continued his career in Naples, where he confronted a scandal involving an illegitimate child and was also they tied to the Camora (local Mafia). Maradona left the Napoli team in 1992, after a prohibition of 15 months, for failing drugs controls.
Between 1992 and 1993 he briefly and unsuccesfully played for Spains' Sevilla Team and for Argentina's Newell's Old Boys team.
During 1993, Alfio Basile, the National Teams's coach, included him in the national team's roster and he played during the classifying season leading to the 1994 United States World Cup. In November, 1993, the Argentine team, with Maradona in the leading role, qualified for the World Cup after defeating Australia 1-0 (Batistuta's goal) at River Plate's Stadium in Buenos Aires.
In the game against Nigeria, Maradona reached the record of 21 goals in games disputed in world cups, record previously held by Germany's Uwe Seller and Poland's Wladimierz Zmuda. Argentina won 2-1 and Diego, again, had an excellent performance.
At the end of this match he was selected to take the anti-doping test that turned out to be positive and he was banned from the Championship. Soon after Argentina was eliminated.
Upon his return to Argentina, Maradona unsuccessfully tried to work as a coach for two clubs but decided to try again as a player.
In 1995 Diego returned to Boca Juniors with whom he played 29 games scoring 7 goals and on October 25, 1997 he played his last professional game against River Plate where Boca Juniors won 2-1.
On November 10, 2001 he had a farewell game played at the Boca Juniors stadium before 60,000 spectators. The game was played between a mixed team or Argentine players and a "Stars" team with international renowned players.
Maradona wore his number "10" shirt for the Argentine National Team and scored 2 penalty goals. Among the guest players were: Francescoli, Riquelme, Stoichkov and the Pibe Valderrama, among others. The game finished 6-3, with goals by Piojo Lopez, Aimar, Maradona and Castromán for the Argentine National Team and Suker (Croatia), Cantoná (France) and Higuita (Colombia) scored for the "Stars" team.
The game was a big party and 60,000 people witnessed this emotional day. Before the start of the game, Maradona entered the field with his daughters, Dalma and Giannina and with one of his nephews. The multitude greeted their idol loudly screaming "Diegooooo, Diegooooo" in honor and gratefulness for his career.
The event finished like it had begun: with happiness, fireworks, more songs sung by the fans and Diego's tears.
Diego Armando Maradona was one of the best football players of all times.