What Killed Maradona VERIFIED
Diego Armando Maradona, who died less than a month after his 60th birthday, was worshipped like a god on the football field, but his lifestyle and addictive demons left him destroyed. What fueled Maradona ultimately killed him.
What Killed Maradona
Diego Maradona's story is one of genius and trauma. One of unthinkable highs and lows. And while the autopsy revealed that it was a cardiac arrest that finally got the better of the Argentine legend, What Killed Maradona?, a Discovery+ documentary, has decoded his life off the pitch and how Maradona slowly but steadily led himself to his death. The documentary, which is just shy of the 45-minute mark, is a compilation of some Diego's greatest moments on the pitch, with an eye on what went on behind the scenes to make Maradona the icon he was.
The book and series start with what seems to be a carefree vacation shared by four close families. Things quickly turn sinister when a wife from the group suspects that her husband is having an affair with one of the other women.
"Everyone is waiting for words from us. But what words could be possible for pain as strong as that we are currently experiencing? Now is the time for tears. Later, it will be words," the club posted on its Twitter account.
In 2000, in what doctors said was a brush with death, he was hospitalized in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este with a heart that doctors said was pumping at less than half its capacity. Blood and urine samples turned up traces of cocaine.
Maradona's parents were both born and brought up in the town of Esquina in the north-east province of Corrientes on the banks of the Corriente River. In the 1950s, they left Esquina and settled in Buenos Aires. Maradona received his first football as a gift at age three and quickly became devoted to the game. At age eight, he was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his local club Estrella Roja. In March 1969 he was recommended to Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires's Argentinos Juniors by his close friend and football rival Gregorio Carrizo who had already been picked by coach Francis Gregorio Cornejo. Maradona became a star for the Cebollitas, and as a 12-year-old ball boy he amused spectators by showing his ball skills during the halftime breaks of Argentinos Juniors' first division games. During 1973 and 1974, Maradona led Cebollitas to two Evita Tournament wins and 141 undefeated games in a row, playing alongside players like Adrian Domenech and Claudio Rodríguez, in what is regarded as the best youth team in the history of Argentine football. Maradona named Brazilian playmaker Rivellino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up.
The mass brawl was played out in front of the Spanish King Juan Carlos and an audience of 100,000 fans inside the stadium, and more than half of Spain watching on television. After fans began throwing solid objects on the field at the players, coaches and even photographers, sixty people were injured, with the incident effectively sealing Maradona's transfer out of the club in what was his last game in a Barcelona shirt. One Barcelona executive stated, "When I saw those scenes of Maradona fighting and the chaos that followed I realized we couldn't go any further with him." Maradona got into frequent disputes with FC Barcelona executives, particularly club president Josep Lluís Núñez, culminating with a demand to be transferred out of Camp Nou in 1984. During his two injury-hit seasons at Barcelona, Maradona scored 38 goals in 58 games. Maradona transferred to Napoli in Italy's Serie A for another world record fee, 6.9 million ($10.48 million).
In 2004, Maradona participated in a protest against the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Maradona declared his opposition to what he identified as imperialism, particularly during the 2005 Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina. There he protested George W. Bush's presence in Argentina, wearing a T-shirt labelled ".mw-parser-output .monospacedfont-family:monospace,monospaceSTOP BUSH" (with the "s" in "Bush" being replaced with a swastika) and referring to Bush as "human garbage". In August 2007, Maradona went further, making an appearance on Chávez's weekly television show Aló Presidente and saying, "I hate everything that comes from the United States. I hate it with all my strength." By December 2008, however, Maradona had adopted a more pro-U.S. attitude and expressed admiration for Bush's successor, then-President-elect Barack Obama, for whom he had great expectations.
Maradona in his 2000 autobiography Yo Soy El Diego, linked the "Hand of God" goal against England at the 1986 World Cup to the Falklands War: "Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas [Falklands] War, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge." In October 2015, Maradona thanked Queen Elizabeth II and the Houses of Parliament in London for giving him the chance to provide "true justice" as head of an organization designed to help young children. In a video released on his official Facebook page, Maradona confirmed he would accept their nomination for him to become Latin American director for the non-governmental organization Football for Unity.
One takeaway from the documentary is that had Maradona played in the current generation, his fate would have been different. However, the legend of Maradona may never have been what it is. In the regimented and airbrushed era, a flawed genius such as him would not have stood out.