1 minute read

Diego Maradona

Fewer Goals, More Acrimony

In early 1991, Maradona was arrested in Naples and charged with cocaine possession. A few months later, he tested positive for drugs and was suspended from international play for 15 months. He was then arrested in a raid on a Buenos Aires drug den, and Naples released him from the last year of his contract in 1992 so that he could play for Seville in the Spanish League. A year later, with that foray ending in more bitter words, Maradona returned to Argentina and played with Newell's Old Boys; again, he had further run-ins with the law, and tested positive for a stimulant once again during the 1994 World Cup championships, and was forced off the Argentine team. The drug, ephedrine, had been prescribed by his doctor for allergies, and some of Maradona's stauncher supporters suspected a set-up.

In 1995, Maradona played what would be his final pro season with the Boca Juniors in Argentina. His 1986 World Cup goal remains one of soccer's most memorable moments, replayed often for the way in which the announcer sobs in joy. In 2000, he was admitted to a hospital in Uruguay for a suspected cocaine overdose. He relocated to Cuba for a time, ostensibly to enter a rehabilitation program, and wrote his autobiography, Yo Soy El Diego ("I Am Diego"), that was an immediate bestseller in South America. That year, he also shared the Player of the Century award with Pelé in a contest held by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and was the winner of the most FIFA Internet votes from around the world. In early 2002, he returned to Argentina from Cuba to take part in a farewell game and ceremony where the Argentine league officially retired his jersey. When he took a victory lap, around the pitch, fans sobbed in the stands.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsSoccerDiego Maradona Biography - A Star In Europe, Claimed Divine Intervention, Chronology, Fewer Goals, More Acrimony, Contact Information - SELECTED WRITINGS BY MARADONA: