Diego Maradona lives like he played with blatant disregard for the rules and norms

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Diego Maradona lives like he played with blatant disregard for the rules and norms

Halfway through the match between Argentina and Nigeria it looked as if something had begun to take hold as the image of Diego Maradona seemingly asleep in his VIP box appeared on TV screens all over the world. In reality his appearance had raised questions from the moment he entered the stadium. Memes of his demoniac look, arms crossed across his chest, had gone viral, as did the gif of him dancing with a woman in the crowd.

It looked like a man under the influence. Maradona's well-documented history of substance abuse, both legal and illegal ' an issue he has been openly discussing for decades ' gave us a clue as to what was going on but he says he has been clean for years and told reporters afterwards he had 'only' been drinking white wine.

The man who has been described by many as the best footballer to have lived has been present at all three Argentina matches, held firmly in the grasp of some sort of security personnel as he teeters on the edge of the balcony much as he has done on the very edge of life throughout a turbulent existence.

He walks in and commands the chants of thousands, the focus of the world's cameras and the response of online communities who faithfully ensure his every move goes viral as he prays, celebrates, applauds, insults, swears and expresses time and again what every man, woman and child feels at some point.

It is a laugh a minute with Maradona, always has been. I first met him when he was planning to launch a union to represent players' rights against Fifa. Inside a five-star Paris hotel he said, 'Let's go and get some pizza,' and as we were stepping on to the pavement he warned us, 'There's going to be a lot of people here; watch out.' No sooner had he spoken than he disappeared into the heart of a demented mob chanting his name, hands stretched out, clamouring for a chance to glimpse and touch him.

On that occasion he was accompanied by his then best friend, manager and sidekick Guillermo Coppola. 'Guille,' Diego called out as he dived into the crowd and dribbled himself out of it on to the road where Coppola had stopped a pink convertible Rolls-Royce that happened to be passing and brokered a ride for them both. Maradona jumped in and off they went; the entire swift move had taken a few seconds.


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Date Posted: Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 03:53 pm

Tags: Diego Maradona

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