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Diego Maradona and Watching a Breakdown Unfold

June 27th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Football, Maradona, Russia 2018, soccer, World Cup

Got to give it to Diego Maradona.

The Argentinian God-handed hero/star/drama queen/double-bird-flipping raving lunatic may be the only man alive whose activities in and around the 2018 World Cup could nearly overshadow Germany being knocked out of the tournament in the group stage today.

Nearly.

We all know what happened to Germany — that hot mess of a dog’s breakfast they threw up in the match versus South Korea, which ended 2-0 to the Koreans and ended 70 years of soccer pundits saying “Germany always makes the quarterfinals.”

But we can never be sure what happened to El Diego overnight, and that led to him wrenching more than a little attention away from Die Mannschaft by letting everyone know, via social media, that he was alive and well … or at least alive, anyway … following his riveting one-man-show in a private suite during Argentina’s win-or-go-home victory over Nigeria.

We were watching beIN’s broadcast, which reportedly has access to 32 cameras at every match, and at least one camera (if not two or three) seemed to be focused on El Diego. A good call, considering he could just spontaneously combust at any moment.

–We were shown Maradona, 57, seemingly sound asleep in the first half. Not bored. Not resting his eyes. Asleep. Maybe unconscious. When we saw that, we took it as some sort of rejection of Argentina’s struggles on the pitch — which he cannot look away from. Or he has passed out.

–In the second half, he pepped up, and began gesticulating and throwing his arms in the air, as if trying to will to victory the national team he once led from the field to the 1986 championship (and led from the dugout to the 4-0 quarterfinals disaster versus Germany at South Africa 2010). Almost as if he were challenging the Almighty to come down and smite him, like Gary “Lieutenant Dan” Sinise in the hurricane scene from Forrest Gump. (“You call this a storm?!?”)

–When it was 1-1, getting late and Argentina seemed doomed, Maradona seemed caught up in one of those “look away/can’t look away” situations, with Diego crying for himself, his national team and for Argentina.

–And, at the end, after Marcos Rojo scored the winning goal, Maradona was so giddy it required two burly men (no doubt his “minders”) to hold him back from climbing over the rail of his suite and plunging, presumably, to his death. Somewhere in there, too, he showed both his middle fingers to someone or something.

Later last night came reports that Maradona required medical attention, which certainly seemed believable, having watched his act in person in the UAE, and considering the damage he has done to his body over the decades, which may have included ingesting commercial quantities of recreational drugs.

Today, he issued a statement on Instagram which included a photo of him being attended to by medics, and conceded he was checked by a doctor at halftime, because of neck pain.

Later, he told TV station Telesur: “I was shocked that (reports suggested) there had been a stretcher, an ambulance. Nothing happened. We were all together, the Telesur team and my team, and we could not believe how social networks started to make a big lie, which made no sense, go viral like that.”

He later added: “I am very much alive, and very well taken care of.”

In a time when the great Pele sometimes seems nearly forgotten, we are still talking about Maradona, just as we have been since he played for Argentina. Right through his Cuba-based rehab/near-death experience, his ill-fated attempts at coaching teams great and small and his semi-retirement in the UAE.

The next Diego Show? That would be Saturday, when Argentina takes on France. Alert the cameramen. Get the paramedics in position.

 

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Doug // Jun 29, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Diego is a combination train wreck and dumpster fire. It amazes me that he has managed to live as long as he has.

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