The legend of both Argentine and world football grew up in a working-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Avellaneda, in a family with eight children. He made his first football steps in the youth league of Argentinos Juniors, for whose senior team he performed in 1976 a few days before his 16th birthday and in that way became the youngest player to debut for a major league team. Three years later he led the selection of Argentina to the title of World Junior Champions, and drew the attention of the big clubs in Europe, above all, Barcelona and Juventus. Since he had shown great talent back then, the club wanted to have a good profit out of his transfer, and has stated a number which nobody wanted to pay. This is why he stayed in Argentina until 1982, when he moved to Barcelona, after the performance at the World Cup in Spain. In the meantime, he won the championship title with Boca juniors.
By transferring to Barca he began to earn more, became popular and then went astray. After Barca he signed for Napoli where he spent eight seasons, he played 259 games, scoring 115 goals and helped the team to win two titles in Serie A. His career in the Italian club ended in the inglorious way – a ban on playing for 15 months for failing the doping test for cocaine.
It was practically the beginning of the end of his playing career. In the next six years he played for Seville, for Newells Old Boys for a short period of time and the Boca juniors, but he constantly struggled with drugs and avoided trainings. In 1996 he went to the clinic for drug addiction treatment in Switzerland for the first time, and tried to continue his career wth his return to Boca, but without success. Although he declared that he was healed, he still lead the battle with cocaine, from which he had serious heart problems.
He tried his hand as a coach leading the team Textil Mandiyu and Racing de Avellaneda in Argentina, as well as Al Wasl in Dubai, but without great success. He was a selector of Argentina, but not for long because results that were planned were not recorded.
He wrote an autobiography, “I am The Diego”, which quickly became a bestseller, and has also worked as a manager. Serbian director Emir Kusturica made film dedicated to the legendary Argentinean, while the group Mano Negra recorded a song in his honor, “Santa Maradona”. The club where he originated, Argentinos Juniors named its stadium after Maradona.
Diego Maradona is a living legend of Argentina and one of the most recognizable personalities that marked the recent history of this South American country.
If you are traveling to Argentina you don’t need a visa if you are staying for less than 90 days but you need to pay the Argentina Reciprocity Fee.