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The 10 footballing moments that define Maradona

Diego Maradona was not just anyone and he not just any footballer either. As the Argentine musician Andres Calamaro immortalised in song, he was a man glued to a leather ball who had a celestial gift with the ball at his feet.

Uruguayan pundit Victor Hugo Morales, meanwhile, called him a genius of world football and also uttered the famous question.

"What planet did you come from, Diego?" he said, a line that will never be forgotten.

Here we look back at 10 defining moments in the eternal No.10's career. 1. A whirlwind start (Argentinos Juniors / Boca)

Every great story has a beginning and Maradona's got off to a flyer. In 1976 at just 15 years of age, he made his debut for Argentinos Juniors, where he would go on to score 116 goals in 166 games. These figures took him to Boca Juniors in 1981, a stepping stone en route to Europe.

2. His best Barcelona goal - applauded in the Bernabeu!

His arrival at Barcelona made him the world's most expensive player at the time and gave him star status. This goal in Copa de la Liga final first leg, leaving Real Madrid defender Juan Jose on his backside with a magical shimmy, earned him an ovation from the Bernabeu crowd.

3. Injured by Goikoetxea in brutal cup final

Maradona drove defences crazy and sometimes the only way to stop him was to chop him down. Sometimes these fouls were more innocuous and at other times more sinister, such as the one by Athletic's 'Goiko', which caused him to miss a large part of his second season at Barcelona.

4. His charity game on a muddy pitch

Shortly after arriving as Napoli's star signing, he disobeyed the club and took part in a charity game on a local mud pitch. He loved the game, no matter the stage.

5. A god in Napoli's Stadio San Paolo

Maradona arrived at Napoli in 1984 and would become a legend linked to the club in a way few others are. Diego and Napoli are intertwined like Alfredo di Stefano and Real Madrid, Johan Cruyff and Ajax and Barcelona or Paolo Maldini and AC Milan. He will never be forgotten in Naples.

6. The double of the century against England at the 1986 World Cup

After a disappointing 1982 World Cup for Argentina, the rise of Maradona and his five goals and five assists in 1986 elevated the national team to the highest heights once again. His double against England in the quarter-finals is possibly the most fabled individual display in footballing history. He opened the scoring with the "hand of God" and finished off the English with the so-called "goal of the century".

7. The most famous warm-up in history

Napoli built a winning team around Maradona, bagging two Serie A titles, a Coppa, a Super Cup and a UEFA Cup. Along the way Diego kept doing Diego things, including the famous warm-up at Bayern Munich's Olympic stadium before a UEFA Cup semi-final second leg.

8. The 'failed' World Cup in 1990...with another hand of God

Italia 90 was all about Maradona: playing at 'home' and tasked with defending his title, he shone once more as only he could and took his team to the final, but this time they fell to West Germany.

9. Attempted rebirth at Sevilla

Maradona's addiction problems turned him from hero to villain and a year-long ban for cocaine use ended his time in Naples. Sevilla offered him a second chance and his spell in Andalusia was brief, but he nonetheless caused a sensation while netting eight goals in 29 games.

10. Farewell at Boca and passing the baton to Riquelme

After returning to Boca and during USA 94, Maradona had another positive drugs test and a 15-month sanction extinguished his flame, with the Argentine never looking the same again. His final game was a Superclasico win for Boca over River Plate in which he was subbed off for none other than Juan Roman Riquelme. Days later he announced his retirement on his 37th birthday.

Source: Marca

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