5 Things You Didn’t Know About Maradona

Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, the 1986 World Cup champion has been selected as the next star in our 5 Things feature.

Maradona has made the news for all the wrong reasons lately, but let’s check five things you may or may not have known about the Argentine:

1. At age eight, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighborhood club Estrella Roja. He became a staple of the junior team of Buenos Aires’s Argentinos Juniors. As a 12-year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games.

2. Maradona became a superstar and led his country to the 1986 World Cup. He retired from the national team in 1994 after 17 years and 34 goals in 91 games. The Argentinian FA put in a request to FIFA to retire the number 10 shirt in his honour but it was rejected.

3. A “Church of Maradona” was founded in Buenos Aires in 1998. The year is marked by his birthday and the calendar reads DD for “Despues de Diego” – “After Diego”

4. Maradona holds the record for being the most fouled player at a World Cup; he was brought down 53 times at Mexico 1986.

5. Maradona was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. after testing positive for ephedrine.