Happy Birthday, El Pibe de Oro!

Happy birthday to one of the greatest footballers of all times, Diego Maradona, who turns 56 today. His talent was there for all to see, as he made his international debut for Argentina when he was just 16 years old. He has played for BarcelonaSevillaNapoli and Boca Juniors among others. He was also the manager of the national team of Argentina from November 2008 to July 2010.

Such was his greatness that he has also been applauded by rival fans. His height (5 feet 5 inches) gave him a low center of gravity, which allowed him to be more maneuverable than most others. His mastery of the ball was such that it gave the impression of the football being tied to his boots. Not only was he a great striker, his play-making expertise arose from his exceptional vision, passing, ball control, dribbling skills, speed, reflexes and reaction time.

He has had a fair share of controversies too, right from head-butting/elbowing/kneeing others players, his cocaine use, to the infamous 'Hand of God' goal. In the 1982 World Cup quarter-final match against England, Argentina won 2-1 after a controversial goal was scored by Maradona with his hand. In the same match, Maradona’s second goal was voted as the 'Goal of the Century' – he received the ball in his own half and dribbled passed five English players, covering more than half of the ground to score the goal. Too much for just one game, isn't it? His performance in that World Cup was so dominant, that he single-handedly led Argentina to World Cup victory. He scored or assisted 10 of the 14 goals scored and earned 53 free kicks, twice more than any other player. Today, on his birthday, let's take a look at the legend's skills and goals.

 

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