Diego Armando Maradona (born 30 October 1960 in Lanús, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine former football player and was manager of the Argentine national team between November 2008 and July 2010. He is widely regarded as one of the best football players of all time. Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys, setting world-record contract fees. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player. In that same tournament’s quarter-final round he scored two goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two very different reasons. The first goal was an unpenalized handball known as the “Hand of God”, while the second goal was a spectacular 60-metre weave through six England players, commonly referred to as “The Goal of the Century”.
Maradona was born in Lanús, but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province. He was the first son after three daughters. He has two younger brothers, Hugo (el Turco) and Eduardo (Lalo), both of whom were also professional football players.
At age 10, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighborhood club Estrella Roja. He became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), 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.
Maradona had a compact physique and could withstand physical pressure well. His strong legs and low center of gravity gave him an advantage in short sprints. His physical strengths were illustrated by his two goals against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona was a strategist and a team player, as well as highly technical with the ball. He could manage himself effectively in limited spaces, and would attract defenders only to quickly dash out of the melee (as in the second 1986 goal against England), or give an assist to a free teammate. Being short, but strong, he could hold the ball long enough with a defender on his back to wait for a teammate making a run or to find a gap for a quick shot.