Diego Armando Maradona has passed away aged 60.
It doesn’t matter who or where you are, whether you’re a football/Arsenal supporter or not, everyone knows who Diego Maradona is. Hearing of his passing on November 25th, 2020, the whole world mourns the loss of, quite possibly, the greatest footballer ever to have lived.
His death has brought the planet to a standstill. News of his passing comes via Argentinian outlet Clarin, who broke the devastating news.
Maradona is, and always will be, an icon of the game. A mercurial talent with a gift that could only have been bestowed upon him by a greater power, this magician of the sport will live long as football’s biggest superstar.
A career that spanned seven different clubs and saw him amass 312 club goals in 588 appearances, well…the truth is that doesn’t tell us anything. Nothing close to the true magnificence of Maradona.
Remarkably, Arsenal were very nearly one of his ventures. Indeed, Maradona publicly expressed a desire to join the Gunners back in 1982, only to be denied by the Football Association.
Then manager, Terry Neill, wanted to sign the Argentine, although he admitted his efforts were futile and instead opted to sign Charlie Nicholas in 1983.
Speaking about the failed move in 2008, as quoted by Metro, Maradona admitted he would have loved to have seen how the transfer played out. Wouldn’t we all have?
"“They play beautiful football. They break quickly – they defend and attack as one. I am a fan of Arsenal when I am in England.“When I was 19 they tried to buy me and another player from Argentinos Juniors – around the time Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles signed for Tottenham.“But it didn’t happen. I sometimes wonder what might have happened.”"
Instead, Maradona went on to play for Barcelona where he spent two seasons, and then onto Napoli where he earned legendary status.
More than ‘what if?’, this is a case of ‘what was’, though. What Maradona was will never be repeated. Of course, players of otherwordly talent will come around, but they’ll never be Maradona. One of a kind, who is forever etched into the very fabric of football. May he rest in peace.