On This Day, 1976: Maradona Makes Début

Pic: Old School Panini

Pic: Old School Panini

October 20, 1976, Diego Armando Maradona Franco makes his professional début with Argentinos Juniors, ten days before his sixteenth birthday. In 167 appearances, he scored 115 goals before a £1m transfer to Boca Juniors in 1981.

Considered by many as the greatest player ever to play the game, during his career Maradona went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli (where he won two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup), Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys.

At 10, Maradona joined Los Cebollitas, a youth team of Argentinos Juniors and helped his side to an incredible 136-game unbeaten streak before making his senior début aged just 15.

Four months later, he made his international début in a match against Hungary at the Bombonara stadium in Beunos Aires.

He earned 91 caps for Argentina, scoring 34 goals and captained his country to the 1986 World Cup title, winning the the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament. The quarter-final tie with England went down in history not only for the infamous handball goal, but also for his mesmerising second strike, voted “The Goal of the Century” by FIFA.com voters in 2002

“[The goal was scored] a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God.”

Never far from controversy, Maradona, sent home from the USA ’94 finals in disgrace following a positive doping test, went on to manage Argentina at the 2010 World Cup.

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