Regardless of what anyone says, there's a lot to be said for being a sore loser.
I mean, if you've already lost or are staring certain defeat in the face, why bother being gracious about it? It's why Mike Tyson tried to make a Wham bar out of Evander Holyfield's lug during their 1997 title fight and why Diego Maradona decided to go bananas on the entire Athletic Bilbao team after the final whistle of the 1984 Copa Del Rey final.
For all his God given ability, the Argentine was always at his finest when he was riling people up, whether that meant nutting opposition defenders or punching a ball past Peter Shilton.
The King's Cup final of '84 provided Maradona with the perfect platform with which to cement his status as an everyman hero for the masses.
Coming face to face with fellow serial sh*thouse, 'Butcher of Bilbao' Andoni Goikoetxea, who had broken Maradona's ankle in a previous meeting between the sides the previous September, our immaculately haired, barrel chested hero would lose the match but ultimately win the war.
38 years since Diego Maradona started an all out war against Bilbao during the Copa Del Rey final… 😳 pic.twitter.com/HSCrQ6Haf0— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 5, 2022
Taking exception to gloating Athletic player Sola waving him off the pitch with the Spanish gesture for "f**k off", Diego saw red and promptly left Sola on his backside before wading into the rest of his opposition without a care in the world.
Not many footballers can claim they've had to personally apologise to the king of a country after prompting a multi man tear up.
Needless to say, this would prove to be Maradona's final game in a 'Blaugrana' shirt and in fairness, it was a more impressive way to bow out than actually winning the cup.
He'd move on to Napoli and the rest, as they say, is history.
Maradona would go on to become one of the finest footballers of all time and is still adored by fans around the world to this day.
Perhaps his greatest achievement is winning the 1986 World Cup and breaking England hearts en route to doing so.
He tragically died in November 2020 after suffering cardiac arrest in his sleep. Argentina president Alberto Fernandez announced three days of national mourning soon after.
There's a reason Maradona will always be one of football's greatest characters.
Words by Joe Baiamonte
Featured Image Credit: Ball Street
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