Fan Opinion: Diego Maradona - The Child of God Who Fulfilled the Prophecy of a Nation

Nov 26, 2020, 4:18 PM GMT+5:30
Diego Maradona is arguably the greatest footballer in the history of the sport | STAFF/Getty Images

"Diego, for all Argentinians, is God. And he always will be."

Carlos Tevez

Argentina in the 1920s was a booming immigrant nation and as they looked for a sense of identity, one of the main things that bound the country together was football - something that brought together a diverse population together.

While the British who gradually disappeared by the end of the first World War played in lush, green fields, for the Argentinians the sport was played and learnt in the 'potreros' - vacant spaces in the slums which taught them to play with skill, technical ability and toughness.

It is from one such potrero that Diego Maradona came from and by age of 16, he was not only being called as a 'great footballer', but one who 'fulfilled the prophecy.'

Such was his talent that he was being mentioned in the national press from the age of 11, something which never stopped during his career and after he decided to hang his boots. While his achievements are too much too write, Maradona was not one to be treated by rules set for his fellow team-mates, with the star a symbol of what the country stood for.

There has been no better performance by an individual throughout the history of the World Cup as seen by his exploits in 1986 as he just did not score brilliant goals and pull of amazing assists, but he played the game in such a way that it was like he was back in the slums of his homeland.

It is this attitude and style which not only saw him attain god-like status in Argentina, but also at Napoli where his brilliance helped lift a city - who were seen as downtrodden, uncouth outsiders when compared to the likes of Milan and Turin.

That there are murals and shrines in honour of the boy from the 'potreros' in Naples was not only thanks to his success with them but also because he enjoyed the 'outsider' tag. It gave him that extra motivation to shut up his richer neighbours, something which the population of the city throroughly enjoyed.

During his entire career, Maradona was perhaps only great for six years, but it was in those six years that the world got to see arguably the most talented footballer in history play the sport, one who transcended it during that period, and one who eventually gave into the vices that comes with being hailed as a 'GOD'

Argentina has not improved much economically since Maradona was born and in a country which has not had a lot to celebrate in the past, he gave them an identity, one which always brought the diverse population together.

Diego Maradona remains the embodiment of a country and a city and as Carlos Tevez remarked, "Diego, for all Argentinians will be God," - someone who gave them hope, happiness and joy - what we look to the gods to give us.

As the great man passed away, for all his gifts and faults, he could smile and say that ensured the 'Fulfilment of the Prophecy'