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Diego Maradona - The Greatest?

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OK, so with a lot of football in suspended animation right now I decided to watch the Diego Maradona documentary directed by Asif Kapadia. It's an absorbing watch. You get some understanding of why he became such a complicated person. Not excusing the bad things he did but you see how he became the way he was.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the age-old question. Is he the greatest player to have graced the game as so many claim? Personally, and this might be my age, I'm reluctant to compare players in different positions and prefer to put players in categories. I would say Maradona is in an elite group with Pele, Johann Cruyff, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo. After that, it's the likes of George Best, John Charles, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldo etc.

The biggest question for me is would Maradona be hailed as much as he is if he didn't commit the "Hand of God" or develop the cocaine addiction etc? Did his weaknesses and flaws help to build the mythology that has seen him labelled as the greatest of all-time? Or would he have been seen more favourably if he didn't have those flaws?

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17 minutes ago, Torque said:

Not to mention USA '94. If he hadn't been kicked out of the tournament it wouldn't have surprised me if Argentina had gone on to win it. He was playing well and had a real aura which could have made all the difference. 


To be fair, give any man this amount of drugs and he'd take his nation to a World Cup trophy! :loon :lol

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The most interesting part about the documentary was his personal fitness coach saying he was almost schizophrenic. There was Diego off the pitch. The quiet, insecure, and self-doubting boy from Lanus Oeste and then there was the persona he created on the pitch in order to survive the brutality of football that was Maradona. An arrogant, selfish, and ruthless individual. I think this persona he had on the pitch was what made him so good. Maybe that's the trouble these days. Players are encouraged to be these flawless role models on and off the pitch which restricts their freedom to express themselves or reach that deeper level of, for want of a better word, c*ntishness that can take them to the next level of performance.

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