Diego Maradona is widely regarded by most as one of the greatest football players of all time. The Argentinian was always invincible throughout his matches.
Despite Maradona having a small stature of 5’9″, he played a midfielder/supporting striker role. His greatest attributes on the field were his precise vision, passing, ball control, dribbling skills, and quality finishing.
In this article, we will have a look at the unparalleled achievements of Maradona in the World Cups.
1982 World Cup
Maradona played in his inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1982 which took place in Spain. The main challenge he experienced during this tournament was limited playing time.
This occurred due to rising tension within the Argentine dressing room as the younger and less experienced players clashed with the older, more experienced players. They couldn’t agree on what style of football to play.
This caused a lack of union, resulting in Argentina crashing out in the second round by losing 2-1 to Italy.
1986 World Cup
Maradona’s biggest achievement was captaining the Argentine national team to victory during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He scored five goals and contributed to five assists.
The quarter-final match against England is unfortunately often remembered as ‘The Hand Of God’ match as Maradona scored his first goal by jumping up for a header but instead used his hand to punch the ball into the net.
Despite vehement complaints from the English players, ‘The Hand Of God’ action was so abrupt that the referee didn’t see it, thus awarding Argentina with the goal.
His second goal against England was voted the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup by FIFA. He even received the ball in his own half, turned, and ran more than half the length of the field, before calmly hitting the ball into the net.
In the final match against West Germany, Argentina won 3-2 and Maradona provided a quality assist to Jorge Burruchaga for the winning goal.
At the end of the tournament, he was awarded the Golden Ball, a prestigious award given to the best player at a FIFA World Cup tournament.
1990 World Cup
Maradona was once again named captain for Argentina during the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Despite Argentina reaching the final, Maradona struggled throughout the tournament as he was hampered by an ankle injury which affected his performance.
Argentina lost 1-0 in the finals to West Germany, with the only goal coming from a controversial penalty scored by Andreas Brehme.
1994 World Cup
Maradona’s 1994 World Cup in the United States was cut short as he only played two games and was sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping.
Other Major Accomplishments
Maradona’s other major accomplishments include his 3-year stay at Barcelona. During this time he won the Copa del Rey in 1983.
Moreover, On 26 June 1983, Barcelona won against Real Madrid in one of the world’s biggest club games, El Clásico. It was the match where Maradona was applauded by arch-rival Real Madrid fans.
Maradona reached the peak of his career during his 8-year stint at Napoli. He elevated the team to become the most successful era in its history.
He won the club’s first-ever Italian Serie A title in 1987 then went on to win another title in 1990. Other honors during his time in Napoli included winning the Coppa Italia in 1987, the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Italian Supercup in 1990.
Diego Maradona passed away on the 25th of November 2020 due to a heart attack, he was 60 years old. One can conclude that despite Maradona’s off-field problems, on the field he was widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
His ability to dribble, pass, and score meant that you couldn’t take your eyes off him for a second. Maradona can be credited with bringing greater attention to football around the world.