Adios, Diego Armando Maradona: The Cosmic Kite
A legend, an individual whose every word and action are headline news.
Diego Armando Maradona, popularly known as El Diego among his fans, passed away at the age of
sixty, though the Argentina and Napoli idol’s life is more than one can suffice in our 10 regular lives.
From the mop-haired prodigy that initially took the Primera Division by storm, through his
adventures in Spain, Italy, and on the international stage, as well as his retirement life, whatever
Maradona did always catch the public eye.
I can honestly say that fans of my generation aren’t qualified to comment about Maradona. He can
be compared to a comet that illuminated the sky and disappeared well before the millennials knew
what the sky is. The only way our interaction with this comet has been through the leased telescope
of edited YouTube videos and stories from the die-hard oldies.
He always had a bond with the ball that steered jealousy and fandom among his peers; won titles
with teams that would have otherwise never even once be anywhere near the podium; could gobble
on steaks previous night and dribble through the entire pitch the very next day. Diego Maradona
was the kind of an extraordinary player (very few exist though) who could be marked out by
opposition in the entire game but still produce that one pass that wins the World Cup. 1986 world
cup was a mere example of that brilliance. As a matter of fact, he has credit for football’s first viral
Even at the summit of his fame, he was always humbled by the fact where he rose from and have
had always wanted to give it back to his people. Putting on a highly rated play for his fans became
more than a responsibility. There was not even a single moment where he had a doubt about his
caliber and always knew he was the superior one on the pitch, and that it was his duty to give us, the
fans, value for our time. Whether he is inside or outside of the field, with the ball under his feet or
the mic in front of him, Maradona always drew you, friends or enemies, closer to him.
The audience was his ammunition as much as he was theirs. Unlike many who have graced the pitch,
Maradona rarely did celebrate a goal by pointing fingers at himself or by glancing at his team with
the expectation of recognition. He played for his audience and their happiness. His celebration, of
outstretched arms and widened torso, always pointed to the stands, to express his gratitude. And
they always responded. They were behind him by the thousands, ready to invest time, energy,
money, and hopes. Day after day, week after week, the whole stadium sang his songs. For
Argentineans, he was Freddie Mercury and the Pope amalgamated into one body.
Whenever I had the opportunity to speak to my grandfather’s old colleagues (older, wiser, and
luckier) about football, I could feel their sparkle in their eyes and voices whenever Diego came up in
our conversations. They didn’t care for anyone else in Football half as much as they did for Diego.
And isn’t that what we call the epitome of greatness? That, even after these many years, your fans
still care about you. The joy and euphoria you gave them in one decade have outlasted more than
what the current generation could offer in the past three decades. Even though many may argue
whether Diego Maradona may or may not have been the greatest player, but he was dearly loved
more than anyone else ever has or will be. At his farewell match for Boca Juniors, a sobbing
Maradona said “La pelota no se mancha.” The ball does not show the dirt.
It never did, Diego. With the ball, you were football’s salvation. Hope you have found your peace!