The Brilliant Story Behind Diego Maradona Playing In Charity Game In Naples Against The Wishes Of His Club
Back in 1984, when Diego Maradona was at the peak of his powers, the great Argentinian played a fundraising match in one of the poorest suburbs of Naples to aid a sick child in need of an expensive operation.
Playing for Italian giants Napoli at the time, the diminutive forward had just moved to the city from Barcelona after being welcomed by 75,000 fans at the Stadio San Paulo. It was labelled the biggest move in football history at the time.
But in that same year, his decision to play in a charity match reportedly didn't go down well with the club. In fact, it is rumoured that Maradona even agreed to pay the insurance required to let him play against the local amateur club.
Despite calls to not feature, the 23-year-old decided to take part on a muddy field on the outskirts of Naples and, after warming up in the local cark park, he showed up and played like his life depended on it.
That was Diego Maradona.
In 1984, Maradona played a fundraising match in one of the poorest suburbs of Naples to aid a sick child in need of an expensive operation. pic.twitter.com/X7SIHpQAns
- Old Days Football (@OldDaysFootball) March 15, 2017
As we celebrate the legacy he leaves behind following his death, many can look back at the times he inspired, both on and off the pitch.
This full footage from that day in Naples is a prime example of his incredible generosity to those who needed it most.
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Another memorable moment involving Maradona is the time he performed the greatest warm-up of all time.
On April 19, 1989, as Austrian pop band Opus and their hit song Live Is Life rang around the Olympiastadio stadium in Berlin, Diego gave us one of the most iconic moments in football history; a masterpiece, some might say.
During the pre-match warm-up ahead of Napoli's UEFA Cup semi-final against Bayern Munich, a relaxed Diego performed a series of keepie-uppie skills in time with the music, juggling it with his knees, head, chest and shoulders while smiling to the transfixed crowd.
With his shoelaces undone, the Argentinian entertained the masses.
Maradona made football look so easy. Even his pre-match warm up was an entertainment.
RIP Diego Maradona :broken_heart::pray: pic.twitter.com/UNASjVKGSG
- E (@iamOkon) November 25, 2020
Unfazed and without a care in the world other than what was happening right before his eyes, this was a bit special. Napoli went on to secure a place in the final thanks to a 2-2 draw but it was this mesmeric display, from a man so skilled, that will forever be remembered from a special night in Germany.
One of the all-time greats. Rest in peace, Diego Maradona.
Featured Image Credit: Videos of Football/YouTube
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