Sports play an important role in people’s life. This is attributed to the fact that both the players and audience or spectators are fulfilled with the experiences of sport. Sport is activity that is controlled by sets of customs or rules that are usually engaged in competitively. Sports are not only used for social benefit or amusement but also a way that people earn incomes. Famous players such as Tiger Woods – Golf and the William’s sister in tennis illustrates the influence that sports have in appreciating and been a form of income to the sportsmen.
Thus, different people contribute differently to the sport world and one of them is Diego Armando Maradona who was a soccer player and currently a manager. Thus, the aim of this paper is to analyze the contribution of Maradona in the soccer world and extrapolates it to the sport world (Maradona et al, 2005). Maradona’s early life and family capability did not illustrate the influence that he had on soccer and fraternity of sports. He was born on October 30, 1961, Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Maradona’s family was poor since the breadwinner – the father was a factory worker and bricklayer and through this job was providing for a family of nine (five girls, three boys and the wife). He (Maradona) used to dream of becoming a soccer player and the family situation did not deter his dreams. In fact, his cousin shaped his dream when he was given a soccer ball for his third birthday. At the age of nine, he was a good player in which he was recognized by Little Onions coach.
Little Onions was the youth team of Argentinos Juniors (Maradona Website, 2009). When he was playing for the Little Onions, he lead the team to win a straight 140 games and played a major role for Little Onions in winning the Junior Championship in 1972, whereby he was awarded by the team a number 10 jersey. Between 1976 and 1980, Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors and he became a major boost for the team through winning games and increasing the spectators. In 1978 World Cup, he missed slight the chance to play for his country.
Nevertheless, in 1981 he transferred to Boca Juniors and contributed in the team winning the 1982 first league game and earning himself a winners’ medal (Maradona et al, 2005). Maradona contributed a lot in the success of the Argentina national football team – Albicelestes through the participation of four consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments. His first internal game for Argentina was against Hungary when he was 16 years old. He played an important role in the 1979 World Youth Championship and which Argentina worn 3-1 against Soviet Union.
In the same period, he was involved in the winner against Scotland, his first game as a senior. In 1982 World Cup, Maradona played five matches without being substituted and scored two goals against Hungary but was sent off for foul play against Brazilian player; the game that they also lost. In the 1986 World Cup, Maradona was the captain and contributed a lot into the winning of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. They won against West Germany in the finals. He played all the games in the 1986 World Cup, being dynamic and asserted his dominance throughout the tournament.
In the same tournament, he scored five goals and assisted in five goals, two of the goals originating from the quarterfinal win against England. This game was played when there was tension between Argentina and England because of the Falklands War. The first goal was a controversial because it is believed and replays show that his hand played a major role. In fact, it is commonly referred to as the “Hand of God”, which was accepted by the referee to the wrath of the English players (Burns, 1997). The second goal was outstanding was voted the FIFA greatest goal of World Cup.
He ran half through the field, drilling through five players and the goalkeeper with eleven touches scored the winning goal. In 2002, a poll that was conducted by FIFA concluded that this goal was the “Goal of the Century”. Nevertheless, he led his country to winning the 1986 World Cup through passing the ball to Jorge Burruchaga. Thus, Argentina won 3-2 against West Germany in Azteca Stadium in front of 115,000 spectators. The authorities of Azteca Stadium built statue that showed scoring the “goal of the century” and the statue was placed at the stadium’s entrance.
Moreover, he participated in the 1990 FIFA World Cup but due to injury, his performance was not excellent as that of 1986. Nevertheless, he captained the team to reach the finals where they were defeated by West Germany through a controversial goal. In the last World Cup of 1994 that he participated, he only played two goals (Maradona et al, 2005). He was sent home when he failed a drug test – ephedrine dope. He claimed that a drink that he had taken had the said chemical and it was not his fault.
At the USA 94, where the world cup was played, Argentina was eliminated in the second round. Apart from the World Cups, Maradona has played for various clubs. Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors and later Boca Juniors. In 1982, he was transferred to FC Barcelona in Spain whereby he contributed a lot to the success of the team winning the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup. In 1984, he was transferred to Napoli in Italy in which he helped to win the Italian championship in 1986/87 and 1989/90 and the team was second in 1987/88 and 1988/89.
Other awards that the team was able to win with the help of Maradona were the UEFA Cup (1989), Coppa Italia (1987), runners up Coppa Italia (1989) and Italian Supercup (1990). At this period he faced various personal complications and other complications with the club. He was transferred in 1992 to Sevilla. Other teams that he played with are Newell’s Old Boys (1993) and Boca Juniors (1995) (Burns, 1997). Body structure and physique played a major role in ensuring that Maradona was successful in the field.
His lower center of gravity, physical strengths and strong legs helped him to overcome his opponents and sprint towards the goal. Through the success of the teams he played for, it illustrates that Maradona was a strategist, team player and technical player. Wherever he played, he used to dribble full speed towards the opponents’ goal and either score or deliver accurate passes to the teammates. Nevertheless, these capabilities were compounded by his capability of taking free kicks. Apart from the field, Maradona has contributed a lot in television shows and helping people.
He hosted the Argentina television show “The Night of the no. 10” in which some of his guests included Pele, Fidel Castro, Zidane and Mike Tyson. Nevertheless, apart from the television show, he took part in 2006 in the UK’s Soccer Aid and in the same year, he captained three-day World Cup Football tournament in Spain. Also in 2006, he was appointed the Intergovernmental Goodwill Ambassador (IIMSAM) (Maradona Website, 2009). He contributed a lot has a leader for various teams. In 1994 and 1995, he coached Mandiyu and Racing Club respectively with minimal success (Burns, 1997).
However, in 2005, he became the sports vice president in charge of Boca Juniors. At the time, Boca Juniors were not functioning well and had poor results. However, when Maradona was involved with the management of the team and built a close relationship with the players, the team fostered. Under his guidance, the team won 2006 Clausera, 2005 Apertura, 2005 Recopa Sudamericana and 2005 Copa Sudamericana. Nevertheless, in 2008 he became the coach of Argentina national football team. His team won the three consecutive matches but was defeated by Bolivia 6-1 on 1 April 2009 (Maradona Website, 2009).
Moreover, Maradona was acknowledged, received various prices and awards. Some of the awards that he received include Argentina league top scorer (1979 to 1981), Golden Ball for Best Player (1979), Best Footballer in the World (1986, 1987), World Player of the Year (1986), FIFA Goal of the Century (2002) and Argentine Senate (2005) to name accolades and honors that he received (Maradona Website, 2009). Thus, from this perspective it is clear that Maradona has contributed a lot to the sport world through his participation in soccer.
He was able to play for various teams and ensuring that in each team that he played for usually succeeded. This can be illustrated by the fact that in each team that he played for, the teams usually won awards and honors. He played for Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors in which they worn various award a replication of other teams that he played. In fact, in the case of Napoli, the period that Maradona played became the greatest successful period of the club. His position in the society and many people aiming to imitate him illustrates that like the legend Pele, Maradona is associated with soccer.