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THE PELE BIOGRAPHY
Full name Edison Arantes do Nascimento
Date of birth 21 or 23 October 1940 (1940-10-23) (age 70)
Place of birth Três Corações, Brazil
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Forward/ Attacking Midfielder,
Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
1956–1974 Santos 605 (730)
1975–1977 New York Cosmos 64 (37)
Total 669 (737)
1957–1971 Brazil 92 (77)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Edison “Edson” Arantes do Nascimento KBE (born 21 or 23 October 1940), best known by his nickname Pelé (Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation: [peˈlɛ], usual English pronunciation: /ˈpɛleɪ/) is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded among football experts and former players as one of the greatest football players of all time. In 1999, he was voted as the Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics. In the same year French weekly magazine France-Football consulted their former “Ballon D’Or” winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. Pelé came in first position. In his career he scored 760 official goals, 541 in league championships, making him the top scorer of all time. In total Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games.
In his native Brazil, Pelé is hailed as a national hero. He is known for his accomplishments and contributions to the game of football. He is also acknowledged for his vocal support of policies to improve the social conditions of the poor (when he scored his 1,000th goal he dedicated it to the poor children of Brazil). During his career, he became known as “The King of Football” (O Rei do Futebol), “The King Pelé” (O Rei Pelé) or simply “The King” (O Rei).
Spotted by football star Waldemar de Brito, Pelé began playing for Santos at 15 and his national team at 16, and won his first World Cup at 17. Despite numerous offers from European clubs, the economic conditions and Brazilian football regulations at the time benefited Santos, thus enabling them to keep Pelé for almost two decades until 1974. With Pelé within their ranks, Santos reach their zenith by winning the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in South American football. Pelé played as an inside second forward, also known as a playmaker. Pelé’s technique and natural athleticism have been universally praised and during his playing years he was renowned for his excellent dribbling and passing, his pace, powerful shot, exceptional heading ability, and prolific goalscoring.
He is the all-time leading scorer of the Brazil national football team and is the only footballer to be a part of three World Cup-winning squads. In 1962 he was on the Brazilian squad at the start of the World Cup but because of an injury suffered in the second match, he was not able to play the remainder of the tournament. In November 2007 FIFA announced that he would be awarded the 1962 medal retroactively, making him the only player in the world to have three World Cup winning medals.
Since his retirement in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has undertaken various acting roles and commercial ventures. He is currently the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos.
1 Early years
2 Club career
2.2 New York Cosmos
3 National team career
3.1 1958 World Cup
3.2 1962 World Cup
3.3 1966 World Cup
3.4 1970 World Cup
3.5 South American Championship
5 After football
7 Career statistics
7.1 Goalscoring and appearance record
7.2 World Cup goals
8 Acting and film career
Early yearsPelé was born in Três Corações, Brazil, the son of a Fluminense footballer Dondinho (born João Ramos do Nascimento) and Dona Celeste Arantes. He was named after the American inventor Thomas Edison, however his parents decided to remove the ‘i’ and call him ‘Edson’, but there was a mistake on the birth certificate, leading many documents to show his name as ‘Edison’, not ‘Edson’, as he is actually called. He was originally nicknamed Dico by his family. He did not receive the nickname “Pelé” until his school days, when it is claimed he was given it because of his pronunciation of the name of his favorite player, local Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Bilé, which he misspoke but the more he complained the more it stuck. In his autobiography, Pelé stated he had no idea what the name means, nor did his old friends. Apart from the assertion that the name is derived from that of Bilé, and that it is Hebrew for miracle, the word has no known meaning in Portuguese.
Pelé grew up in poverty in Bauru, São Paulo. He earned extra money by working in tea shops as a servant. Taught to play by his coach, he could not afford a proper football and usually played with either a sock stuffed with newspaper, tied with a string or a grapefruit.
At the age of fifteen, he joined the Santos FC junior team. He played for one season before joining the senior team.
The marks that Pelé left inside the Maracanã StadiumIn 1956, de Brito took Pelé to Santos, an industrial and port city in the state of São Paulo, to try out for professional club Santos Futebol Clube telling the directors at Santos that the 15-year-old would be “the greatest football player in the world.”
During his time at Santos, Pelé played alongside many gifted players, including Zito, Pepe, and Coutinho; the latter partnered him in numerous one-two plays, attacks, and goals.
Pelé made his debut for Santos in 7 September 1956, scoring one goal in a 7–1 friendly victory over Corinthians. When the 1957 season started, Pelé was given a starting place in the first team and, at the age of just 16, became the top scorer in the league. Just ten months after signing professionally, the teenager was called up to the Brazil national team. After the World Cup in 1962, wealthy European clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United tried to sign the young player, but the government of Brazil declared Pelé an “official national treasure” to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
The 1962 Copa Libertadores trophy.Pelé won his first major title with Santos in 1958 as the team won the Campeonato Paulista; Pelé would finish the tournament as top scorer with an incredible 58 goals, a record that stands today. A year later, O Rei would help the team earn their first victory in the Torneio Rio-São Paulo with a 3-0 over Vasco da Gama. However, Santos was unable to retain the Paulista title. In 1960, Pelé scored 33 goals to help his team regain the Campeonato Paulista trophy but lost out on the Rio-São Paulo tournament after finishing in a disappointing 8th place. Another 47 goals from Pelé saw Santos retain the Campeonato Paulista. The club went on to win the Taça Brasil that same year, crushing Bahia in the finals; Pelé finished as top scorer of the tournament with 9 goals. The victory allowed Santos to participate in the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club tournament in the Western hemisphere.
Santos’ most successful club season started in 1962; the team was seeded in Group 1 alongside Cerro Porteño and Deportivo Municipal, winning every match of their group but one (a 1-1 away tie vs Cerro), with Pelé scoring his first goal in a brace against Cerro. Santos defeated Universidad Católica in the semifinals and met defending champions Peñarol in the finals in which Pelé scored another brace in the playoff match to secure the first title for a Brazilian club. Pelé finished as the second best scorer of the competition with 4 goals. That same year, Santos would defend, with success, the Campeonato Brasiliero (with 37 goals from Pelé), the Taça Brasil (Pelé scoring four goals in the final series against Botafogo), and win the 1962 Intercontinental Cup (Pelé scoring five goals in the series).
As the defending champions, Santos qualified automatically to the semifinal stage of the 1963 Copa Libertadores. The ballet blanco managed to retain the title in spectacular fashion after impressive victories over Botafogo and Boca Juniors. Pelé helped Santos overcome a Botafogo team that contained legends such as Garrincha and Jairzinho with an agonizing last-minute goal in the first leg of the semifinals and bring the match to 1-1. In the second leg, Pelé produced one of his best performances as a footballer with a hat-trick in the Estádio do Maracanã as Santos crushed Botafogo 0-4 in the second leg. Appearing in their second consecutive final, Santos started the series by winning 3-2 in the first leg and defeating the Boca Juniors of José Sanfilippo and Antonio Rattín 1-2 in La Bombonera, with another goal from Pelé, becoming the first (and so far only) Brazilian team to lift the Copa Libertadores in Argentine soil. Pelé finished the tournament as the topscorer runner-up with 5 goals. Santos lost the Campeonato Paulista after finishing in third place but went on to win the Rio-São Paulo tournament after an impressive 0-3 win over Flamengo in the final, with Pelé providing one goal in the match. Pelé would also help Santos retain the Intercontinental Cup and the Taça Brasil.
Santos tried to defend their title again in 1964 but they were thoroughly beaten in both legs of the semifinals by Independiente. Santos won again the Campeonato Paulista, with Pelé netting 34 goals. The club also shared the Rio-São Paulo title with Botafogo and win the Taça Brasil for the fourth consecutive year. The Santistas would try to resurge in 1965 by winning, for the 9th time, the Campeonato Paulista and the Taça Brasil. In the 1965 Copa Libertadores, Santos started convincingly by winning every match of their group in the first round. In the semifinals, Santos met Peñarol in a rematch of the 1962 final. After two legendary matches, a playoff was needed to break the tie. Unlike 1962, Peñarol came out on top and eliminated Santos 2-1. Pelé would, however, finish as the topscorer of the tournament with eight goals. This proved to be the start of a decline as Santos failed to retain the Torneio Rio-São Paulo, finishing in an embarrassing 9th place (second to last).
In 1966, Pelé and Santos also failed to retain the Taça Brasil as O Rei’s goals weren’t enough to prevent a 9-4 routing by Cruzeiro in the final series. Although Santos won the Campeonato Paulista in 1967, 1968 and 1969, Pelé became less and less a contributing factor to the Santistas now-limited success. On 19 November 1969, Pelé scored his 1000th goal in all competitions. This was a highly anticipated moment in Brazil. The goal, called popularly O Milésimo (The Thousandth), occurred in a match against Vasco da Gama, when Pelé scored from a penalty kick, at the Maracanã Stadium.
Pelé states that his most beautiful goal was scored at Rua Javari stadium on a Campeonato Paulista match against São Paulo rival Juventus on 2 August 1959. As there is no video footage of this match, Pelé asked that a computer animation be made of this specific goal. In March 1961, Pelé scored the gol de placa (goal worthy of a plaque), a goal against Fluminense at the Maracanã which was regarded as so spectacular that a plaque was commissioned with a dedication to the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracanã.
Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a star around the world. His team Santos toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. In 1967, the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play an exhibition game in Lagos.
New York CosmosAfter the 1972 season (his 17th with Santos), Pelé retired from Brazilian club football although he continued to occasionally suit up for Santos in official competitive matches. Two years later, he came out of semi-retirement to sign with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) for the 1975 season. Though well past his prime at this point, Pelé is credited with significantly increasing public awareness and interest in soccer in the United States. He led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championship, in his third and final season with the club.
On 1 October 1977, Pelé closed out his legendary career in an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. Santos arrived in New York and New Jersey after previously defeating the Seattle Sounders 2–0. The match was played in front of a capacity crowd at Giants Stadium and was televised in the United States on ABC’s Wide World of Sports as well as throughout the world. Pelé’s father and wife both attended the match. Pelé gave a brief pre-match speech during which he asked the crowd to say the word “love” with him three times. He played the first half for the Cosmos and the second half for Santos. Reynaldo scored the first goal for Santos, kicking the ball into the net after it had deflected off the crossbar. Pelé then scored his final goal on a direct free kick, driving the ball past the diving Santos goalkeeper. At halftime, the Cosmos retired Pelé’s number 10. Pelé presented his Cosmos shirt to his father, who was escorted to the field by Cosmos captain Werner Roth. During the second half, Cosmos striker Ramon Mifflin, who had replaced Pelé when he switched sides at halftime, scored on a deflected cross, and the Cosmos won the match 2–1. After the match, Pelé was embraced by the Cosmos players, including longtime rival Giorgio Chinaglia, and then ran around the field while holding an American flag in his left hand and a Brazilian flag in his right hand. Pelé was soon lifted by several Cosmos players and carried around the field.
National team career
Pelé (crouched, second from right to left) and Brazil national team at 1959 Copa AmericaPelé’s first international match was a 2–1 defeat against Argentina on 7 July 1957. In that match, he scored his first goal for Brazil aged 16 years and 9 months to become the youngest player to score in International football.
1958 World Cup
Pelé cries on the shoulder of a peaceful Gilmar, after Brazil win the 1958 Cup.His first match in the World Cup was against the USSR in the first round of the 1958 FIFA World Cup, on the third game of the Cup, alongside Garrincha, Zito and Vavá. He was the youngest player of that tournament, and at the time the youngest ever to play in the World Cup. He scored his first World Cup goal against Wales in quarterfinals, the only goal of the match, to help Brazil advance to semifinals, while becoming the youngest ever World Cup goalscorer at 17 years and 239 days. Against France in the semifinal, Brazil was leading 2–1 at halftime, and then Pelé scored a hat-trick, becoming the youngest in World Cup history to do so.
On 19 June 1958 Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days. He scored two goals in the final as Brazil beat Sweden 5–2. His first goal, a lob over a defender followed by a precise volley shot, was selected as one of the best goals in the history of the World Cup. When the match ended, he passed out on the field, and had to be attended by the medical staff. He then recovered, and was visibly compelled by the victory; in tears as he was being congratulated by his teammates. He finished the tournament with six goals in four matches played, tied for second place, behind record-breaker Just Fontaine.
It was in the 1958 World Cup that Pelé began using a number 10 t-shirt that immortalized him. Recently it is known that the event was the result of disorganization: the leaders didn’t send the shirt numbers of players and it was up to FIFA to choose the number 10 shirt to Pele, who was a substitute on the occasion. The press of the time cataloged Pelé as the greatest revelation of the 1958 Cup.
1962 World Cup
Pelé fighting for a ball against the Swedish goalkeeper Kalle Svensson during the 1958 World Cup final.In the first match of the 1962 World Cup, against Mexico, Pelé assisted the first goal and then scored the second one, after a run past four defenders, to go up 2–0. He injured himself while attempting a long-range shot against Czechoslovakia. This would keep him out of the rest of the tournament, and forced coach Aymoré Moreira to make his only lineup change of the tournament. The substitute was Amarildo, who performed well for the rest of the tournament. However, it was Garrincha who would take the leading role and carry Brazil to their second World Cup title.
1966 World CupThe 1966 World Cup was marked, among other things, for the brutal fouling on Pelé, by the Bulgarian and Portuguese defenders. Brazil was eliminated in the first round, playing only three matches. Pelé scored the first goal from a free kick against Bulgaria, but due to his injury, a result of persistent fouling by the Bulgarians, he was left out for the second game against Hungary. Brazil lost that game and Pelé, although still recovering, was brought back for the last crucial match against Portugal. In that game João Morais brutally fouled Pelé, but was allowed to stay on field by referee George McCabe. Pelé had to stay in the field limping for the rest of the game, since substitutes were not allowed at that time. After this game he vowed he would not play again in the World Cup, a decision he would later change.
1970 World CupPelé was called to the national team in early 1969, he refused at first, but then accepted and played in six World Cup qualifying matches, scoring six goals. The 1970 World Cup in Mexico was to be Pelé’s last. Brazil’s squad for the tournament featured major changes in relation to the 1966 squad. Players like Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Valdir Pereira, Djalma Santos, and Gilmar had already retired, but the team, with Pelé, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Gérson, Carlos Alberto Torres, Tostão, and Clodoaldo, is widely considered as one of the greatest ever football teams.
In the first match, against Czechoslovakia, Pelé gave Brazil a 2–1 lead, by controlling Gerson’s long pass with his chest and then scoring. In this match Pelé audaciously attempted to lob goalkeeper Ivo Viktor from the half-way line, only narrowly missing the Czechoslovak goal. Brazil went on to win the match, 4–1. In the first half of the match against England, he nearly scored with a header that was spectacularly saved by Gordon Banks. In the second half, he assisted Jairzinho for the only goal of the match. Against Romania, he opened the score on a direct free kick goal, a strong strike with the outside of his right foot. Later on in the match he scored again to take the score to 3–1. Brazil won by a final score of 3–2. In the quarterfinals against Peru, Brazil won 4–2, with Pelé assisting Tostão on for Brazil’s third goal. In the semi-finals, Brazil faced Uruguay for the first time since the 1950 World Cup final round match. Jairzinho put Brazil ahead 2–1, and Pelé assisted Rivelino for the 3–1. During that match, Pelé made one of his most famous plays. Tostão gave Pelé a through ball, and Uruguay’s goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz took notice of it. The keeper ran off of his line to get the ball before Pelé, but Pelé got there first, and without touching the ball, he caused it to go past the keeper, to the latter’s left, while Pelé went right. Pelé went around the goalkeeper and took a shot while turning towards the goal, but he turned in excess as he shot, and the ball drifted just wide of the far post.
Brazil played Italy in the final, with Pelé scoring the opener, with a header over Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich. He then made assists on Jairzinho’s and Carlos Alberto’s goals, the latter one coming after an impressive collective play. Brazil won the match 4–1, keeping the Jules Rimet Trophy indefinitely. Burgnich, who marked Pelé during the match, was quoted saying “I told myself before the game, he’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else — but I was wrong”.
Pelé’s last international match was on 18 July 1971 against Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro. With Pelé on the field, the Brazilian team’s record was 67 wins, 14 draws, and 11 losses, and they won three World Cups. Brazil never lost a match while fielding both Pelé and Garrincha. The only international match Garrincha lost was against Hungary in 1966, 1–3, which Pelé did not play in because of injury.
South American ChampionshipPelé also played in the South American Championship. In the 1959 competition he was top scorer with eight goals, as Brazil came second in the tournament.
FamilyOn 21 February 1966, Pelé married Rosemeri dos Reis Cholby. He has two daughters Kelly Cristina (13 January 1967) and Jennifer (1978) as well as a son Edson (“Edinho” – little Edson, 27 August 1970). The couple divorced in 1978.
Since April 1994 Pelé has been married to psychologist and gospel singer Assíria Lemos Seixas, who gave birth on 28 September 1996 to twins Joshua and Celeste through fertility treatments.
President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva and Pelé in commemoration for 50 years since the first World Cup title won by Brazil in 1958, at the Palácio do Planalto, 2008.Prime Licensing, the company created and owned by the long time friend and fashion businessman Jose Alves de Araujo, now manages the Pele brand including contracts with Puma AG, Pelestation, QVC, Fremantle Media, Pele L’uomo and Pele Arena coffee houses, amongst others.
The most notable area of Pelé’s life since football is his ambassadorial work for various bodies. In 1992, Pelé was appointed a United Nations ambassador for ecology and the environment.
He was awarded Brazil’s Gold Medal for outstanding services to the sport in 1995, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed him to the position of “Extraordinary Minister for Sport” and he was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. During this time he proposed legislation to reduce corruption in Brazilian football, which became known as the Pelé law. Pelé left his position in 2001 after he was accused of involvement in a corruption scandal, although nothing has been proved so far. In 1997 he was created an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Pelé at Bramall lane, celebrating Sheffield’s 150th anniversaryPelé scouted for Premier League club Fulham in 2002. He was chosen to do the draw for the qualification groups for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals.
Pelé has published several autobiographies, starred in documentary and semi-documentary films and composed various musical pieces, including the entire soundtrack for the film Pelé in 1977. He appeared, alongside other footballers of the 1960s and 1970s, with Michael Caine, and Sylvester Stallone, in the 1981 film Escape to Victory, about an attempted escape from a World War II German POW Camp.
Pelé in South Africa during 2010 World Cup, June 10th, 2010.Pelé signed a major autobiographical book deal in 2006, resulting in a giant-sized, 45 cm × 35 cm, 2,500 unit limited-edition collectible “Pelé”, created by UK luxury publishers, Gloria, as the first-ever football “big book”. In the same period, Pelé received a lifetime achievement award from the BBC and in June 2006, helped inaugurate the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, alongside supermodel Claudia Schiffer. Pelé has also helped to promote viagra and raise the awareness of impotency.
Pelé was guest of honour at the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield’s 150th anniversary match v Inter Milan in November 2007. Inter won 5–2 in front of an appreciative crowd of nearly 19,000 at Bramall Lane. As part of his visit, Pelé opened an exhibition which included the first public showing in 40 years of the original hand written rules of football.
In 2009, he cooperated with Ubisoft on arcade football game Academy of Champions: Soccer for the Wii and also appeared in the game as a coach to its players.
On August 1, 2010, Pelé was introduced as the Honorary President of a revived New York Cosmos (2010), aiming to field a team in Major League Soccer.
Copa Libertadores: 1962, 1963
Campeonato Paulista: 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973
Taça Brasil: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 
Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa: 1968
Torneio Rio-São Paulo: 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966
Intercontinental Cup: 1962, 1963
Recopa Intercontinental: 1968
Friendly Club tournaments
Teresa Herrera Trophy: 1959
Tournament of Valencia: 1959
Dr. Mario Echandi Trophy: 1959
Pentagonal Tournament of Mexico: 1959
Gialorosso Trophy: 1960 
Tournament of Paris: 1960, 1961 
Tournament of Italy: 1961
Tournament of Costa Rica: 1961
Tournament of Caracas: 1965
Quadrangular Tournament of Buenos Aires: 1965
Hexagonal Tournament of Chile: 1965, 1970
Tournament of New York: 1966
Amazonia Tournament: 1968
Quadrangular Tournament of Rome/Florence: 1968
Pentagonal Tournament of Buenos Aires: 1968
Octagonal Tournament of Chile (Taça Nicolau Moran): 1968
Tournament of Cuiabá: 1969
Tournament of Kingstone: 1971 
New York Cosmos
North American Soccer League: 1977
Roca Cup: 1957, 1963
FIFA World Cup: 1958, 1962, 1970
The tally of 32 official team trophies makes him the player with most career titles
Copa Libertadores top scorer (1): 1965.
Campeonato Paulista top scorer (11): 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1973.
Copa América top scorer (1): 1959.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality:
Winner (1): 1970
FIFA World Cup (Best Young Player):
Winner (1): 1958 
FIFA World Cup (Silver Boot): 1958 
FIFA World Cup Silver Ball: 1958 
FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (Best Player)
Winner (1): 1970
Athlete of the Century, elected by world wide journalists, poll by French daily L’Equipe: 1981
South American Footballer of the Year: 1973 
Inducted into the American National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1993.
Knight Commander of the British Empire: 1997 
In 1989 DPR Korea issued a postage stamp depicting Pelé.
Athlete of the Century, by Reuters News Agency: 1999
Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999
UNICEF Football Player of the Century: 1999
Time Magazine One of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century: 1999 
FIFA Player of the Century : 2000 (view : http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/players/player=63869/bio.html )
Football Player of the Century, elected by France Football’s Golden Ball Winners : 1999 
Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
South America Football Player of the Century, by IFFHS International Federation of Football History and Statistics: 1999
Laureus World Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award from South African President Nelson Mandela: 2000
In December 2000, Pelé and Maradona shared the prize of FIFA Player of the Century by FIFA. The award was originally intended to be based upon votes in a web poll, but after it became apparent that it favoured Diego Maradona, many observers complained that the Internet nature of the poll would have meant a skewed demographic of younger fans who would have seen Maradona play, but not Pelé. FIFA then appointed a “Family of Football” committee of FIFA members to decide the winner of the award. The committee chose Pelé. Since Maradona was winning the Internet poll, however, it was decided he and Pelé should share the award.
International Olympic Committee “Athlete of the Century”
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award:
Winner (1): 2005
A consensus of media and expert polls rank Pelé as the greatest footballer of all time.
Career statisticsGoalscoring and appearance record
Pelé dribbling past a defender during Malmö-Brazil 1-7 in May, 1960. Pelé scored 2 goals.Pelé’s goalscoring record is often reported as being 1280 goals in 1363 games. This figure includes goals scored by Pelé in non-competitive club matches, for example, international tours Pelé completed with Santos and the New York Cosmos, and a few games Pelé played in for armed forces teams during his national service in Brazil.
The tables below record every goal Pelé scored in major club competitions for Santos and the New York Cosmos. During much of Pelé’s playing career in Brazil there was no national league championship. From 1960 onwards the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) were required to provide meritocratic entrants for the then-new Copa Libertadores, a South American international club competition broadly equivalent to the European Cup. To enable them to do this, the CBF organised two national competitions: the Taça de Prata and Taça Brasil. A national league championship, the Campeonato Brasileiro, was first played in 1971, alongside traditional state and interstate competitions such as the Campeonato Paulista and the Torneio Rio-São Paulo.
The number of league goals scored by Pelé is listed as 589 in 605 games. This number is the sum of the goals scored by Pelé in domestic league-based competitions: the Campeonato Paulista (SPS), Torneio Rio-São Paulo (RSPS), Taça de Prata and Campeonato Brasileiro. The Taça Brasil was a national competition organised on a knockout basis.
Club Season Domestic League Competitions Domestic League
Sub-total Domestic Cup International Club Competitions Official
Total Total inc.
SPS RSPS T. de Prata Camp. Brasil. T. Brasil Copa Libertadores Intercontinental Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Santos 1956 0* 0* 0* 0* 2* 2* 2* 2*
1957 14+15* 19+17* 9 5 38* 41* 29* 16* 67* 57*
1958 38 58 8 8 46 66 14* 14* 60* 80*
1959 32 45 7 6 39 51 4* 2* 40* 47* 83* 100*
1960 30 33 3 0 33 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 34* 26* 67* 59*
1961 26 47 7 8 33 55 5* 7 0 0 0 0 36* 48* 74* 110*
1962 26 37 0 0 26 37 5* 2* 4* 4* 2 5 13* 14* 50* 62*
1963 19 22 8 14 27 36 4* 8 4* 5* 1 2 16 16* 52* 67*
1964 21 34 4 3 25 37 6* 7 0* 0* 0 0 16* 13* 47* 57*
1965 30 49 7 5 37 54 4* 2* 7* 8 0 0 18* 33* 66* 97*
1966 14 13 0* 0* 14* 13* 5* 2* 0 0 0 0 19* 16* 38* 31*
1967 18 17 14* 9* 32* 26* 0 0 0 0 0 0 32* 26* 65* 56*
1968 21 17 17* 11* 38* 28* 0 0 0 0 0 0 38* 28* 73* 55*
1969 25 26 12* 12* 37* 38* 0 0 0 0 37* 38* 61* 57*
1970 15 7 13* 4* 28* 11* 0 0 0 0 28* 11* 54* 47*
1971 19 8 21 1 40 9 0 0 0 0 40 9 72* 29*
1972 20 9 16 5 36 14 0 0 0 0 36 14 74* 50*
1973 19 11 30 19 49 30 0 0 0 0 49 30 66* 52*
1974 10 1 17 9 27 10 0 0 0 0 27 10 49* 19*
All 412 470 53 49 56* 36* 84 34 605* 589* 33 30 15 17 3 7 656 643 1120 1087
A dark grey cell in the table indicates that the relevant competition did not take place that year.
* indicates this number was inferred from a Santos fixture list from rsssf.com and this list of games Pelé played.
Club Season NASL Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
NY Cosmos 1975 9 5 14* 10* 23* 15*
1976 24 15 18* 11* 42* 26*
1977 31 17 11* 6* 42* 23*
All 64 37 43* 27* 107* 64*
Brazil national team
Year Apps Goals
1957 2 2
1958 7 9
1959 9 11
1960 6 4
1961 0 0
1962 8 8
1963 7 7
1964 3 2
1965 8 9
1966 9 5
1967 0 0
1968 7 4
1969 9 7
1970 15 8
1971 2 1
Total 92 77
World Cup goals# Date Venue Opponent Score Result World Cup Round
1. 19 June 1958 Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden Wales 1 – 0 1 – 0 1958 Quarter-Final
2. 24 June 1958 Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden France 1 – 3 2 – 5 1958 Semi-Final
3. 24 June 1958 Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden France 1 – 4 2 – 5 1958 Semi-Final
4. 24 June 1958 Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden France 1 – 5 2 – 5 1958 Semi-Final
5. 29 June 1958 Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden Sweden 1 – 3 2 – 5 1958 Final
6. 29 June 1958 Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden Sweden 2 – 5 2 – 5 1958 Final
7. 30 May 1962 Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile Mexico 2 – 0 2 – 0 1962 Group Stage
8. 12 July 1966 Goodison Park, Liverpool, England Bulgaria 1 – 0 2 – 0 1966 Group Stage
9. 3 June 1970 Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico Czechoslovakia 2 – 1 4 – 1 1970 Group Stage
10. 10 June 1970 Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico Romania 1 – 0 3 – 2 1970 Group Stage
11. 10 June 1970 Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico Romania 3 – 1 3 – 2 1970 Group Stage
12. 21 June 1970 Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico Italy 1 – 0 4 – 1 1970 Final
Acting and film careerOs Estranhos (1969) (TV series)
O Barão Otelo no Barato dos Bilhões (1971)
A Marcha (1973)
Os Trombadinhas (1978)
Escape to Victory (1981)
A Minor Miracle (1983)
Pedro Mico (1985)
Os Trapalhões e o Rei do Futebol (1986)
Solidão, Uma Linda História de Amor (1990)
Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)
ESPN SportsCentury (2004)
Pelé Eterno (2004) – a documentary about Pelé’s career
THE DIEGO MARADONA BIOGRAPHY
Full name Diego Armando Maradona
Date of birth 30 October 1960 (1960-10-30) (age 50)
Place of birth Lanús, Buenos Aires province, Argentina
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder/Second Striker
0000–1969 Estrella Roja
1970–1974 Los Cebollitas
1975 Argentinos Juniors
Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
1976–1981 Argentinos Juniors 167 (115)
1981–1982 Boca Juniors 40 (28)
1982–1984 Barcelona 36 (22)
1984–1991 Napoli 188 (81)
1992–1993 Sevilla 26 (5)
1993–1994 Newell’s Old Boys 7 (0)
1995–1997 Boca Juniors 30 (7)
Total 494 (258)
1977–1994 Argentina 91 (34)
1994 Mandiyú de Corrientes
1995 Racing Club
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Diego Armando Maradona (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈðjeɣo maɾaˈðona]; born 30 October 1960) is an Argentine former football player. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys, setting world-record contract fees. In his international career, playing for Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.
He played in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 tournament, where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player. In that same tournament’s quarterfinal round, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history, though for two different reasons. The first goal was via an unpenalized handball known as the “Hand of God”, while the second goal was a 60 m (66 yd) goal through six England players, voted “The Goal of the Century”.
Maradona is considered one of the sport’s most controversial and newsworthy figures. He was suspended from football for 15 months in 1991 after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy, and he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup in the USA after testing positive for ephedrine. After retiring from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997, he gained weight, suffered ill health and the effects of cocaine use. In 2005, a stomach stapling operation helped control his weight gain, and he overcame his cocaine addiction. His outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sport executives. Although he had little managerial experience, he became head coach of the Argentina national team in November 2008, and held the job for eighteen months, until his contract expired after the 2010 World Cup.
1 Early years
2 Club career
2.1 Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors
2.2 FC Barcelona
2.4 Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors
3 International career
3.1 1982 World Cup
3.2 1986 World Cup
3.3 1990 World Cup
3.4 1994 World Cup
4 Playing style
5 Retirement and honours
6 Managerial career
6.1 Club management
6.2 International management
7 Personal life
7.2 Drug abuse and health issues
7.3 Political views
7.4 Financial problems
8 In popular culture
9 Career statistics
12 See also
14 External links
Early yearsMaradona was born in Lanús, but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province. He was the first son after three daughters. He has two younger brothers, Hugo (el Turco) and Eduardo (Lalo), both of whom were also professional football players.
At age 10, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighborhood club Estrella Roja. He became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires’s Argentinos Juniors. As a 12-year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games.
Club careerArgentinos Juniors and Boca JuniorsOn 20 October 1976, Maradona made his professional debut with Argentinos Juniors, ten days before his sixteenth birthday. He played there between 1976 and 1981, before his £1m transfer to Boca Juniors. Joining the squad midway through the 1981 season, Maradona played through 1982, and secured his first league winners’ medal. Whilst playing for Argentinos Juniors, English club Sheffield United put in a bid of £180,000 for his services but the bid was rejected.
Maradona with Boca Juniors, 1981FC BarcelonaAfter the 1982 World Cup, in June, Maradona was transferred to Barcelona in Spain for a then world record £5m. In 1983, under coach César Luis Menotti, Barcelona and Maradona won the Copa del Rey (Spain’s annual national cup competition), beating Real Madrid, and the Spanish Super Cup, beating Athletic de Bilbao. However, Maradona had a difficult tenure in Barcelona. First a bout with hepatitis, then a broken leg caused by an ill-timed tackle by Athletic’s Andoni Goikoetxea jeopardized his career, but Maradona’s physical strength and willpower made it possible for him to soon be back on the pitch. At Barcelona, Maradona got into frequent disputes with the team’s directors, especially club president Josep Lluís Núñez, culminating with a demand to be transferred out of Camp Nou in 1984. He was transferred to Napoli in Italy’s Serie A for another record fee, £6.9m.
Diego Maradona with Napoli in 1985NapoliAt Napoli, Maradona reached the peak of his professional career. He quickly became an adored star among the club’s fans, and in his time there he elevated the team to the most successful era in its history. Led by Maradona, Napoli won their only Serie A Italian Championships in 1986/87 and 1989/1990, placing second in the league twice, in 1987/88 and 1988/89. Other honors during the Maradona era at Napoli included the Coppa Italia in 1987, (second place in the Coppa Italia in 1989), the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Italian Supercup in 1990. Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987/88.
During his time in Italy, Maradona’s personal problems increased. His cocaine use continued, and he received US $70,000 in fines from his club for missing games and practices, ostensibly because of ‘stress’. He faced a scandal there regarding an illegitimate son; and he was also the object of some suspicion over an alleged friendship with the Camorra.
Sevilla, Newell’s Old Boys and Boca JuniorsAfter serving a 15-month ban for failing a drug test for cocaine, Maradona left Napoli in disgrace in 1992. By the time he joined his next team, Sevilla (1992–93), he had not played professional football for two years. In 1993 he played for Newell’s Old Boys and in 1995 he returned to Boca Juniors for 2 years.
Maradona also appeared for Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly match against Internazionale, shortly before the 1986 world cup. The match was Osvaldo Ardiles’ testimonial, who insisted his friend Maradona played, which Tottenham won 2–1. He played alongside Glenn Hoddle, who gave up his number ten shirt for the Argentine. Maradona would go on to dribble past Hoddle during his “goal of the century” against England in the world cup that year.
Maradona and the Youth World Cup trophy in 1979Along with his time at Napoli, international football is where Maradona found his fame. Playing for the Albicelestes of the Argentina national football team, he participated in four consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments, leading Argentina to victory in 1986 and to second place in 1990.
He made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary on 27 February 1977. At age 18, he played the World Youth Championship for Argentina, and was the star of the tournament, shining in their 3–1 final win over the Soviet Union. On 2 June 1979, Maradona scored his first senior international goal in a 3–1 win against Scotland at Hampden Park. He is the only player to win the Golden Ball at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup, in 1979 and 1986.
1982 World CupMaradona played his first World Cup tournament in 1982. In the first round, Argentina, the defending champions, lost to Belgium. Although the team convincingly beat Hungary and El Salvador to progress to the second round, they were defeated in the second round by Brazil and by eventual winners Italy. Maradona played in all five matches without being substituted, scoring twice against Hungary, but was sent off with 5 minutes remaining in the game against Brazil for serious foul play.
1986 World CupMaradona captained the Argentine national team to victory in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, winning the final in Mexico against West Germany. Throughout the 1986 World Cup Maradona asserted his dominance and was the most dynamic player of the tournament. He played every minute of every Argentina game, scored 5 goals and made 5 assists. After scoring two goals in the 2–1 quarter-final win against England his legend was cemented.
This match was played with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and emotions were still lingering in the air throughout the entire match. Replays showed that the first goal was scored by striking the ball with his hand. Maradona was coyly evasive, describing it as “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” It became known as the “Hand of God”. Ultimately, on 22 August 2005 Maradona acknowledged on his television show that he had hit the ball with his hand purposely, and that he immediately knew the goal was illegitimate. The goal stood, much to the wrath of the English players.
Maradona, turns like a little eel, he comes away from trouble, little squat man… comes inside Butcher and leaves him for dead, outside Fenwick and leaves him for dead, and puts the ball away… and that is why Maradona is the greatest player in the world.
“”—Bryon Butler (BBC Radio)Maradona’s second goal was later voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup. He received the ball in his own half, swivelled around, and with 11 touches ran more than half the length of the field, dribbling past five English outfield players (Peter Beardsley, Steve Hodge, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, and Terry Fenwick) and goalkeeper Peter Shilton. This goal was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA. Right after the goal occurred, it left the television commentator “sobbing in joy”, and apologizing for his outburst.
Maradona followed this with two more goals in the semi-final against Belgium, including another virtuoso dribbling display for the second goal. In the final, the opposing West German side attempted to contain him by double-marking, but he nevertheless found the space to give the final pass to Jorge Burruchaga for the winning goal. Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in front of 115,000 spectators at the Azteca Stadium and Maradona lifted the World Cup trophy, ensuring that he would be remembered as one of the greatest names in football history. In a tribute to him, the Azteca Stadium authorities built a statue of him scoring the “goal of the century” and placed it at the entrance of the stadium.
1990 World CupMaradona captained Argentina again in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. An ankle injury affected his overall performance, and he was much less dominant than four years earlier. Argentina was almost eliminated in the first round, only qualifying in third position from their group. In the round of 16 match against Brazil, Claudio Caniggia scored the only goal after being set up by Maradona.
In the quarter final, Argentina faced Yugoslavia, the match ending 0–0 after 120 minutes, and Argentina advancing on penalty kicks, despite Maradona missing one of the penalties in the shootout with a weak shot at the centre of the goal. The semifinal against the host nation Italy was also resolved on penalties after a 1–1 draw; this time, Maradona was successful with his effort, daringly placing the ball at exactly the same spot as his missed penalty in the previous round. In the final, Argentina lost 1–0 to West Germany, the only goal being a penalty by Andreas Brehme in the 85th minute after a controversial foul on Rudi Völler.
1994 World CupAt the 1994 FIFA World Cup Maradona played in only two games, scoring one goal against Greece, before being sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping. In his autobiography, Maradona argued that the test result was due to his personal trainer giving him the power drink Rip Fuel. His claim was that the U.S. version, unlike the Argentine one, contained the chemical and that, having run out of his Argentine dosage, his trainer unwittingly bought the U.S. formula. FIFA expelled him from USA ’94 and Argentina were subsequently eliminated in the second round. Maradona has also separately claimed that he had an agreement with FIFA, on which the organization reneged, to allow him to use the drug for weight loss before the competition in order to be able to play. According to Maradona, this was so that the World Cup would not lose prestige because of his absence. This allegation has never been proven.
Maradona playing for Argentinos Juniors in 1980See also: Creole football
Maradona had a compact physique and could withstand physical pressure well. His strong legs and low center of gravity gave him an advantage in short sprints. His physical strengths were illustrated by his two goals against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona was a strategist and a team player, as well as highly technical with the ball. He could manage himself effectively in limited spaces, and would attract defenders only to quickly dash out of the melee (as in the second 1986 goal against England), or give an assist to a free teammate. Being short, but strong, he could hold the ball long enough with a defender on his back to wait for a teammate making a run or to find a gap for a quick shot.
One of Maradona’s trademark moves was dribbling full-speed on the right wing, and on reaching the opponent’s goal line, delivering accurate passes to his teammates. Another trademark was the Rabona, a reverse-cross pass shot behind the leg that holds all the weight. This maneuver led to several assists, such as the powerful cross for Ramón Díaz’s header in the 1980 friendly against Switzerland. He was also a dangerous free kick taker.
Maradona was dominantly left-footed, often using his left foot even when the ball was positioned more suitably for a right-footed connection. His first goal against Belgium in the 1986 World Cup semi-final is a worthy indicator of such; he had run into the inside right channel to receive a pass but let the ball travel across to his left foot, requiring more technical ability. During his run past several England players in the previous round for the “Goal of the Century”, he didn’t use his right foot once, despite spending the whole movement on the right-hand side of the pitch. In the 1990 World Cup second round tie against Brazil, he did use his right foot to set up the winning goal for Caniggia due to two Brazilian markers forcing him into a position that made use of his left foot less practical.
Retirement and honours
Diego Maradona’s blaugrana shirt at display in FC Barcelona Museum.Hounded for years by the press, Maradona once fired a compressed-air rifle at reporters who he claimed were invading his privacy. This quote from former teammate Jorge Valdano summarizes the feelings of many:
He is someone many people want to emulate, a controversial figure, loved, hated, who stirs great upheaval, especially in Argentina… Stressing his personal life is a mistake. Maradona has no peers inside the pitch, but he has turned his life into a show, and is now living a personal ordeal that should not be imitated. 
In 2000, Maradona published his autobiography Yo Soy El Diego (“I am The Diego”), which became an instant bestseller in his home country. Two years later, Maradona donated the Cuban royalties of his book to “the Cuban people and Fidel.”
FIFA conducted a fan poll on the Internet in 2000, to elect the FIFA Player of the Century. Maradona finished top of the poll with 53.6% of the vote. Subsequently, however, and contrary to the original announcement of how the award would be decided, FIFA appointed a “Football Family” committee of football experts that voted to award Pelé the title. Maradona protested at the change in procedure, and declared he would not attend the ceremony if Pelé replaced him. Eventually, two awards were made, one to each of the pair. Maradona accepted his prize, but left the ceremony without waiting to see Pelé receive his accolade. It should be mentioned that Pelé and numerous FIFA officials criticised the poll for a number of methodological shortcomings, most notably, for the ‘recency effect’. In a separate survey conducted by the IFFHS, Maradona placed 5th best player of the century, behind fellow countryman Alfredo Di Stefano.
Maradona at the Soccer Aid friendly match in 2006, after losing weightIn 2001, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) asked FIFA for authorization to retire the jersey number 10 for Maradona. FIFA did not grant the request, even though Argentine officials have maintained that FIFA hinted that it would.
Maradona has won other fan polls, including a 2002 FIFA poll in which his second goal against England was chosen as the best goal ever scored in a World Cup; he also won the most votes in a poll to determine the All-Time Ultimate World Cup Team.
Argentinos Juniors named its stadium after Maradona on 26 December 2003.
On 22 June 2005, it was announced that Maradona would return to Boca Juniors as a sports vice president in charge of managing the First Division roster (after a disappointing 2004–05 season, which coincided with Boca’s centenary). His contract began 1 August 2005, and one of his first recommendations proved to be very effective: he was the one who decided to hire Alfio Basile as the new coach. With Maradona fostering a close relationship with the players, Boca went on to win the 2005 Apertura title, the 2006 Clausura title, the 2005 Copa Sudamericana and the 2005 Recopa Sudamericana.
On 15 August 2005, Maradona made his debut as host of a talk-variety show on Argentine television, La Noche del 10 (“The Night of the no. 10”). His main guest on opening night was Pelé; the two had a friendly chat, showing no signs of past differences. However, the show also included a cartoon villain with a clear physical resemblance to Pelé. In subsequent evenings, he led the ratings on all occasions but one. Most guests were drawn from the worlds of football and show business, including Zidane, Ronaldo and Hernán Crespo, but also included interviews with other notable personalities such as Fidel Castro and Mike Tyson.
On 26 August 2006, it was announced that Maradona was quitting his position in the club Boca Juniors because of disagreements with the AFA, who selected Basile to be the new coach of the Argentina national football team.
The award-winning Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica made a documentary about Maradona’s life, entitled Maradona.
In May 2006, Maradona agreed to take part in UK’s Soccer Aid (a program to raise money for Unicef). In September 2006, Maradona, in his famous blue and white number 10, was the captain for Argentina in a three-day World Cup of Indoor Football tournament in Spain.
Also in 2006, Diego Maradona was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador of IIMSAM the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition.
On 22 March 2010, Maradona was chosen number 1 in The Greatest 10 World Cup players of all time by The Times, a London based newspaper.
Managerial careerClub managementHe attempted to work as a coach alongside former Argentinos Juniors midfield team mate Carlos Fren. The pair led Mandiyú of Corrientes (1994) and Racing Club (1995), but with little success.
International managementAfter the resignation of Argentina national football team coach Alfio Basile in 2008, Diego Maradona immediately proposed his candidacy for the vacant role. According to several press sources, his major challengers included Diego Simeone, Carlos Bianchi, Miguel Ángel Russo and Sergio Batista.
On October 29, 2008, AFA chairman Julio Grondona confirmed that Maradona would be the head coach of the national side from December 2008. On 19 November 2008, Diego Maradona managed Argentina for the first time when Argentina played against Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow which Argentina won 1–0.
After winning his first three matches in charge of the national team, he oversaw a 6–1 defeat to Bolivia, equalling the team’s worst ever margin of defeat. With two matches remaining in the qualification tournament for the 2010 World Cup, Argentina was in fifth place and faced the possibility of failing to qualify, but victory in the last two matches secured qualification for the finals.
After Argentina’s qualification, Maradona used abusive language at the live post-game press conference, telling members of the media to “suck it and keep on sucking it”. FIFA responded with a two month ban on all footballing activity, which expired on January 15, 2010, and a CHF 25,000 fine, with a warning as to his future conduct. Argentina had one friendly match scheduled during the period of the ban, at home to the Czech Republic on December 15, but this was subsequently cancelled.
At the World Cup finals in June 2010, Argentina started by winning 1–0 against Nigeria, and then defeated South Korea by 4–1, with a hat-trick from Gonzalo Higuain. In the final match of the group stage Argentina won 2–0 against Greece to win their the group and advance to a second round meeting with Mexico. After defeating Mexico 3–1, Argentina was in turn routed by Germany, 4–0 in the quarter finals to go out of the competition. Argentina was ranked 5th in the tournament. After the defeat to Germany Maradona admitted that he was considering his future as Argentina coach, “I may leave tomorrow,” he said. On 15 July 2010, the Argentine Football Association said that he would be offered a new 4 year deal that would keep him in charge through to the summer of 2014 when Brazil stages the World Cup, however on 27 July the AFA announced that its board had unanimously decided not to renew his contract. Afterwards on 29 July 2010, Maradona claimed that AFA president Julio Grondona and director of national teams Carlos Bilardo had “lied to” and “betrayed” and effectively sacked him from the role. Saying “they wanted me to continue, but seven of my staff should not go on, if he told me that, it meant he did not want me to keep working”.
Personal lifeFamilyHis parents are Diego Maradona Snr and Dalma Salvadore Franco. His father is of Mestizo extraction. His maternal great-grandfather Mateo Kariolić was born in Korčula, Dalmatia, today’s Croatia (possibly then in the Austrian Empire), and emigrated to Argentina, where Maradona’s grandmother Salvadora was born. Salvadora named her daughter Dalma after the Croatian region, after whom Maradona named his eldest daughter.
Maradona married long-time fiancée Claudia Villafañe on November 7, 1989 in Buenos Aires, after the birth of their daughters, Dalma Nerea (born on April 2, 1987) and Giannina Dinorah (born on May 16, 1989), by whom he became a grandfather in 2009. In his autobiography, Maradona admits he was not always faithful to Claudia, even though he refers to her as the love of his life.
Maradona and Villafañe divorced in 2004. Daughter Dalma has since asserted that the divorce was the best solution for all, as her parents remained on friendly terms. They traveled together to Napoli for a series of homages in June 2005 and were seen together on many other occasions, including the Argentina matches during 2006 FIFA World Cup.
During the divorce proceedings, Maradona admitted he was the father of Diego Sinagra (born in Naples on September 20, 1986). The Italian courts had already so ruled in 1993, after Maradona refused to undergo DNA tests for proving or disproving his paternity. Diego Jr. met Maradona for the first time in May 2003 after tricking his way onto a golf course in Italy where Maradona was playing.
After the divorce, Claudia embarked on a career as a theatre producer, and Dalma is seeking an acting career; she has expressed her desire to attend the Actor’s Studio in Los Angeles.
His younger daughter, Giannina, is now engaged to Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Agüero, with whom she has a son, Benjamin, born in Madrid on 19 February 2009. His son Diego Sinagra is a footballer in Italy 
Drug abuse and health issues
Maradona after gaining weightFrom the mid-1980s until 2004 Diego Maradona was addicted to cocaine. He allegedly began using the drug in Barcelona in 1983. By the time he was playing for Napoli he had a regular addiction, which began to interfere with his ability to play football.
Over the years following his retirement his health seriously deteriorated. On January 4, 2000, while vacationing in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Maradona had to be rushed to the emergency room of a local clinic. In a press conference, doctors stated that it was detected heart muscle damage due to “an underlying health issue”. It was later known that traces of cocaine were found in his blood and Maradona had to explain the circumstances to the police. After this he left Argentina and went to Cuba in order to follow a drug rehab plan.
On 18 April 2004, doctors reported that Maradona had suffered a major myocardial infarction following a cocaine overdose; he was admitted to intensive care in a Buenos Aires hospital. Scores of fans gathered around the clinic. He was taken off the respirator on 23 April and remained in intensive care for several days before being discharged on 29 April. He tried to return to Cuba, where he had spent most of his time in the years leading up to the heart attack, but his family opposed, having filed a judicial petition to exercise his legal guardianship.
Maradona had a tendency to put on weight, and suffered increasingly from obesity from the end of his playing career until undergoing gastric bypass surgery in a clinic in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on 6 March 2005. His surgeon said that Maradona would follow a liquid diet for three months in order to return back his normal weight. When Maradona resumed public appearances shortly thereafter, he displayed a notably thinner figure.
On 29 March 2007, Maradona was readmitted to a hospital in Buenos Aires. He was treated for hepatitis and effects of alcohol abuse, and was released on 11 April, but re-admitted two days later. In the following days there were constant rumors about his health, including three false claims of his death within a month. After transfer to a psychiatric clinic specialising in alcohol-related problems, he was discharged on May 7.
On 8 May 2007, Maradona appeared on Argentine television and stated that he had quit drinking and had not used drugs in two and a half years.
Political viewsOnly in recent years, Maradona has shown sympathy to left-wing ideologies. Before that he had been vocal in his support of neoliberal Argentina President Carlos Menem, and especially of his Harvard University-educated economist Domingo Cavallo. He became friends with Cuban leader Fidel Castro while receiving treatment on the island. He also has a portrait of Fidel Castro tattooed on his left leg and one of Fidel’s second in command, fellow Argentine Che Guevara on his right arm. In his autobiography ‘El Diego’ he dedicated the book to several people and groups of people including Fidel Castro, he wrote “To Fidel Castro and, through him, all the Cuban people”.
Maradona is also a supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. In 2005 he visited Venezuela with the specific aim of meeting Chávez, who received him in Miraflores. After this meeting Maradona claimed that he had come with the aim of meeting a “great man” (“un grande” in Spanish) but he had met instead a gigantic man (“un gigante” in Spanish, meaning he was more than great).
“I believe in Chávez, I am Chavista. Everything Fidel does, everything Chávez does, for me is the best.”
He has declared his opposition to what he identifies as imperialism, notably during the 2005 Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina. There he protested George W. Bush’s presence in Argentina, wearing a T-shirt labeled “STOP BUSH” and referring to Bush as “human garbage”.
In August 2007, Maradona went further, making an appearance on Chávez’s weekly television show and saying: “I hate everything that comes from the United States. I hate it with all my strength.” 
In December 2007, Maradona presented a signed shirt with a message of support to the people of Iran: it is to be displayed in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ museum.
Financial problemsIn March 2009 Italian officials announced that Maradona still owed the Italian government 37 million euros in taxes; 23.5 million euros of which was accrued interest on his original debt. They reported that thus far, Maradona has paid only 42,000 euros, two luxury watches and a set of earrings.
In popular culture
Religious display of Maradona in NaplesThe American newspaper The Houston Chronicle wrote about Maradona:
To understand the gargantuan shadow Maradona casts over his soccer-mad homeland, one has to conjure up the athleticism of Michael Jordan, the power of Babe Ruth — and the human fallibility of Mike Tyson. Lump them together in a single barrel-chested man with shaggy black hair and you have El Diego, idol to the millions who call him D10S, a mashup of his playing number and the Spanish word for God.
In Argentina, Maradona is considerer a symbol, a “Sport hero”. He is idolized, receiving the name of “God”. About this idolatry that exists in Argentina over Maradona, his former teammate Jorge Valdano said: “At the time that Maradona retired from active football, left traumatized Argentina. Maradona was more than just a great footballer. It was a special compensation factor for a country that in a few years lived several military dictatorships and social frustrations of all kinds”. Valdano added that “Maradona offered to the Argentines way out of their collective frustration, and that’s why people love him. There is a divine figure.”
Ever since 1986, it is common for Argentines abroad to hear Maradona’s name as a token of recognition, even in remote places. The Tartan Army sing a version of the Hokey Cokey in honour of the Hand of God goal against England. In Argentina, Maradona is often talked about in terms reserved for legends. In the Argentine film El Hijo de la Novia (“Son of the Bride”), somebody who impersonates a Catholic priest says to a bar patron: “they idolized him and then crucified him”. When a friend scolds him for taking the prank too far, the fake priest retorts: “But I was talking about Maradona”. He’s the subject of the film El Camino de San Diego, though he himself only appears in archive footage.
Maradona was included in many cameos in the Argentine comic book El Cazador de Aventuras. After the closing of it, the authors started a new short-lived comic book titled “El Die”, using Maradona as the main character.
In Rosario, Argentina, locals organized the “Church of Maradona”. The “Religion of Maradona” (“Religión Maradoniana” is Spanish) has the same format as the Catholic religion. He is considered the supreme god. Christmas is celebrated on the birthday of Diego, October 30. Maradona’s 43rd birthday in 2003 marked the start of the Year 43 D.D. – “Después de Diego” or After Diego – for its founding 200 members. Tens of thousands more have become members via the church’s official web site.
Many Argentine artists performed songs in tribute to Diego, like: “Maradó” by El Potro Rodrigo, “Maradona” by Andrés Calamaro, “Para siempre Diego” (Diego forever) by Los Ratones Paranoicos, “Para verte gambetear” (For seeing you dribble) by La Guardia Hereje, “Francotirador” (Sniper) by Attaque 77, “Dale Diez” (C’mon Diez) by Julio Lacarra, “Maradona blues” by Charly García, “Santa Maradona” (Saint Maradona) by Mano Negra, “Si yo fuera Maradona” (If I Were Maradona) by Manu Chao, among others.
And many films, like: Maradona, La Mano de Dios (Maradona, the Hand of God), El Camino de San Diego (Saint Diego’s Road), Amando a Maradona (Loving Maradona), Maradona by Kusturica, etc.
A television commercial for Brazilian soft drink Guaraná Antarctica portrayed Maradona as a member of the Brazilian national football team, including wearing the yellow jersey and singing the Brazilian national anthem with Brazilian caps Kaká and Ronaldo. Later on in the commercial he wakes up realizing it was a nightmare after having drunk too much of the Brazilian soft drink. This generated some controversy in the Argentine media after its release (although the commercial was not supposed to air on the Argentine market, fans could see it via internet). Maradona replied that he has no problem in wearing the Brazilian national squad jersey, but that he would refuse to wear the shirt of River Plate, Boca Juniors’ traditional rival.
Career statisticsClubHis overall average of goals scored per match in domestic club competitions is 0.526.
InternationalStarted in 21 consecutive matches for Argentina in four World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994)
Appeared 16 times as captain of the national team, a World Cup-record.
Scored 8 goals and made 8 assists in 21 World Cup appearances, including 5 goals and 5 assists in 1986
Tied for second-highest goal-scorer from Argentina in World Cup finals (equaled Guillermo Stábile’s mark in 1994; surpassed by Gabriel Batistuta in 1998)
StatisticsPlayerClub performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Argentina League Cup South America Total
1976 Argentinos Juniors Primera División 11 2 – – 11 2
1977 49 19 – – 49 19
1978 35 25 – – 35 25
1979 27 26 – – 27 26
1980 45 43 – – 45 43
1981 Boca Juniors 40 28 – – 40 28
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1982–83 Barcelona La Liga 20 11 11 7 4 5 35 23
1983–84 16 11 4 1 3 3 23 15
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1984–85 Napoli Serie A 30 14 6 3 – 36 17
1985–86 29 11 2 2 – 31 13
1986–87 29 10 10 7 2 0 41 17
1987–88 28 15 9 6 2 0 39 21
1988–89 26 9 12 7 12 3 50 19
1989–90 28 16 3 2 5 0 36 18
1990–91 18 6 3 2 4 2 25 10
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1992–93 Sevilla La Liga 26 5 3 3 – 29 8
Argentina League Cup South America Total
1993–94 Newell’s Old Boys Primera División 7 0 – – 7 0
1995–96 Boca Juniors 11 3 – – 11 3
1996–97 13 2 – – 13 2
1997–98 6 2 – – 6 2
Total Argentina 244 150 – – 244 150
Spain 62 27 18 11 7 8 87 46
Italy 188 81 45 29 25 5 258 115
Career total 494 258 63 40 32 13 589 311
Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1977 3 0
1978 1 0
1979 8 3
1980 10 7
1981 2 1
1982 10 2
1983 0 0
1984 0 0
1985 10 6
1986 10 7
1987 6 4
1988 3 1
1989 7 0
1990 10 1
1991 0 0
1992 0 0
1993 4 0
1994 7 2
Total 91 34
ManagerTeam Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Mandiyú de Corrientes 1994 12 1 6 5 8.33
Racing Club 1995 11 2 6 3 18.18
Argentina November 2008 July 2010 19 14 5 0 73.68
HonoursClub Boca Juniors
Primera División: 1981
Copa del Rey: 1983
Copa de la Liga: 1983
Supercopa de España: 1983
Serie A: 1987, 1990
Coppa Italia: 1987
UEFA Cup: 1989
Supercoppa Italiana: 1990
FIFA World Youth Championship: 1979
FIFA World Cup:
Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1993
75th anniversary FIFA Cup: 1979
IndividualGolden Ball for Best Player of the FIFA U-20 World Cup: 1979
Argentine league Top Scorer: 1979, 1980, 1981
Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
South American Footballer of the Year (El Mundo, Caracas):1979, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992
Italian Guerin d’Oro: 1985
Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Year: 1986
Golden Ball for Best Player of the FIFA World Cup: 1986
L’Équipe Champion of Champions – 1986
United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
Best Footballer in the World Onze d’Or: 1986, 1987
World Player of the Year (World Soccer Magazine): 1986
Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
Golden Ball for services to football (France Football): 1996
Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century: 1999
Marca Leyenda: 1999
Argentine Senate “Domingo Faustino Sarmiento” recognition for lifetime achievement:
“FIFA Goal of the Century” (1986 (2–1) v. England; second goal): 2002
FIFA Player of the Century
the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011
THE RONALDO CARD