“The genius has become an angel now and flown to heaven, where a football pitch would be ready for him to play with the likes of Garrincha, Puskas, Eusebio, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Johan Cruyff”
Who can be termed as a genius in football? There are various opinions about the footballing genius, but at the end of the day, we all seem to agree to the fact, they exist few in numbers. One footballer can rely on hype and biased views, portrayed as a genius despite being a loser at the highest level, whereas one footballer can be inspired and driven by their desire to enrich the lives of others.
A footballing genius always aspires to become more and take the whole nation with him to reach the pinnacle of glory. When he has the ball at his feet, he thinks, he can not only rule the world but most importantly, he can carry the hopes and aspiration of the whole nation – they become once in a generation player, which others can only dream of because they look for excuses, stage a drama and crumble under pressure.
They cannot be called a genius!
They cannot be called the all-time best!
But, one of the best among the other bests – just another best footballer of a certain decade!
They don’t carry the hopes of a nation.
A true genius lifts the nation and no matter what hurdles come across, they overcome those.
Thus, Like Pele, Garrincha, Franz Beckenbauer and Zinedine Zidane; Diego Maradona was a genius.
As a matter of fact, since Pele and Garrincha, no other footballer had so much impact on world football like Maradona did.
Maradona showed his abilities at a very young age, leading Los Cebollitas youth team to a 136-game unbeaten streak and going on to make his international debut aged just 16 years and 120 days.
Short and stocky, at just 5 feet 5 inches – he was never a great athlete, but he had a left foot made of gold and platinum, pace and dribbling abilities with which he took the world by storm.
With time and experience, temperament, astonishing ball control, silky passing abilities, intuition, vision, unorthodox displays on the pitch, intelligence, and cunningness were earned to fulfill the project of a genius.
Maradona was an out and out patriot and leader on the pitch. On the pitch, he would never give anything less than 100% and when the chips are down, Diego would take the responsibility to lift the spirits all his own.
When he signed for Napoli back in 1984, there were more than 80,000 fans in the Stadio San Paolo when he arrived by helicopter – for Napoli, he was a hero, who would become their God in the coming days.
The Italian club was nothing in the Serie A, but Maradona injected hope and confidence to transform a mediocre unit into world-beaters. Napoli rose to the top and then, it was time to take Argentina to the top of the world – the thirteenth FIFA World Cup in Mexico was his World Cup.
Apart from Garrincha in Chile 1962, no other footballer could claim that he has helped his team to win the World Cup all his own. After 24 years, the world witnessed, Maradona to do such on the venue, where Pele conquered in 1970.
The Maradona impact was evident four years later in Italy where Argentina were at risk of packing their bags early, but Maradona, in Italy, led from behind to marshal an injury-ravaged and mediocre unit to reach the finals.
The magic of Mexico was not evident, but his ability to drop deep and orchestrate play from the central midfield left no doubt, this man was a gift from God, and blessed are those, who watched this genius live in action.
While on the pitch, he was setting the stage on fire, off the pitch, controversies followed him.
He never had the discipline in his lifestyle and it hampered his health.
For a couple of times, he experienced serious medical conditions, but in the end, he failed to outweigh death.
The genius has become an angel now and flown to heaven, where a football pitch would be ready for him to play with the likes of Garrincha, Puskas, Eusebio, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Johan Cruyff.