FOOTBALL loves its flawed geniuses; the players who can be dazzling on the pitch, but destructive off it – sometimes even bringing their issues inside the field of play too. It accepts them as one of its own in a way few working environments would tolerate. That tendency is often questioned, and rightly so.
But in Diego Maradona, the sport has an overwhelming advert for its sometimes controversial policy. What the Argentine took away from football’s image, he more than handed back with two decades of pure brilliance.
That Maradona is constantly mentioned in the same breath as Pele, Puskas, Beckenbauer, Cruyff et al despite his well-known struggles says much about the impact he made wherever he went.