Mesmerising! Its Diego Maradona’s first birthday since his passing. His playful warm up juggling is a reminder of why he is so loved & he never lost the childlike spirit of the streets of Villa Fortia, an impoverished violent slum with no electricity or running water.
Maradona & other ‘urchins’ would use football to escape, playing a fearless and free brand of football on the vacant ‘potrero’ slum lots.
He was a child prodigy in Buenos Aires making his senior debut at 15 & debuted for Argentina a year later, becoming a magnificent virtuoso – a global superstar from the streets who danced past opponents like magic.
This video is beautiful. Maradona with untied shoelaces, dancing and revelling in his artistry – juggling just like he did as an 11 year old child-genius performing tricks at half time at Argentina Juniors games.
Juggling like he used to on the way to school with an orange, crumpled newspaper or a bundle or rags.
This dancing warm-up took place in front of 70,000 fans before the 1989 UEFA Cup Semi Final between Napoli and Bayern Munich.
The Bayern team were warming up and they all stopped to watch Maradona.
“He transcended the sport,” Jon Smith, a leading British sports agent who represented Maradona between 1986 and 1991.
“He went to some very dark corners but history will be kind to Diego because his talent was so supreme and he never lost that desire to help the unfortunate.”
He always remembered that he was once a scruffy little ‘pibe’ from the potreros and brought those rough edges to his superstardom whilst never losing his love of the game.
His happy place above all was with a ball: “To see the ball, to run after it, makes me the happiest man in the world.”
Image source: The Football Times
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