To see him play, was to witness a genius at work.

I hope you’ll forgive me, since it’s a Celtic themed blog, but I thought I’d skip my usual Celtic player tribute for a change and turn to my favourite player ever.

Diego Maradona the classic number 10 was given the nickname “The Golden Boy” he was the first player ever to break the world transfer fee twice, to Barcelona for £5 million, then to Napoli for £6.9 million.

Raised in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, he was a son of an Argentine father and a mother of both Italian and Croatian heritage. If anything he taught us that being born into relative poverty should never deter us from following our dreams.

When Diego first came to Argentinos Juniors for trials they did not believe he was only 8 years old, although he was small in stature he played like an adult, when they eventually discovered that Diego was telling the truth they decided to devote themselves purely to him, it was clear, even then, he was an exceptional talent.

Maradona made his professional debut on his 16th birthday, and that debut was to become legendary as he nutmegged opposition player Juan Domingo Cabrera during the game and left Cabrera standing for dead, Diego would last five years at Argentinos Juniors, from 1976 to 1981, scoring 115 goals in 167 games, before his then, huge transfer to Boca Juniors, a team he always wanted to play for.

Diego then went to Barcelona, after the 1982 World Cup for a then world record transfer fee of £5 million Maradona won the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup, The following year, Barcelona beat Real Madrid in El Clásico, Maradona scored and became the first Barcelona player to be applauded by arch-rival Real Madrid fans. Only Ronaldinho (Nov 2005) and Iniesta (Nov 2015) have been given such an ovation as Barcelona players, from the Madrid fans at the Bernabeu.

Diego’s early days at Barcelona were looking very good, however it was to get harder due to illness and injury, a case of hepatitis, followed by a broken ankle from a reckless challenge by Athletico Bilbao’s Andoni Goikoetxea (Nicknamed the Butcher of Bilbao) threatened to wreck Maradona’s career, but he overcame both.

More however was to follow, during another game against Athletico Bilbao, in which Barcelona lost 1-0 Andoni Goikoetxea (The Butcher of Bilbao) again, made another reckless challenge on Diego, whilst Bibao fans were taunting Diego throughout the whole game with racist insults towards his father, this together with xenophobic terms being directed towards Maradona from Bilbao player Miguel Sola, made Diego snap, A right old brawl ensued in front of the King of Spain 100,000 fans inside the stadium and millions watching on TV.

The brawl effectively ended Diego’s Barcelona career, and he was sold to Napoli for 6.9 million.

To try to guage the extent of Maradona’s popularity we can look at his presentation to Napoli fans, a massive 75,000 fans turned out just to welcome him to the club. The fans were convinced that their saviour had arrived. One local newspaper printed that even though Naples had no mayor, very poor housing, schools, buses, mass unemployment and sanitation was awful, none of this mattered, because we have Maradona !

Maradona like every other genius had his off field demons, like Jinky and Best had with alcohol, Diego’s was drugs.

While at Napoli Diego Maradona reached his peak, and became revered as Napoli won their first ever Serie A Championship, sparking a city carnival celebration which ran for over a week. Hundreds of new born babies were christened Diego.


Napoli captained by Diego would also win the league in 89-90, Coppa Italia in 1987, the UEFA Cup in 1989 beating Stuttgard 5-4 over two legs, and the Italian Supercup in 1990, and he was the all-time leading goalscorer for Napoli, with 115 goals, although his personal problems increased and his cocaine use continued.

Maradona made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, The 1982 World Cup will be renowned for the one where Diego Maradona was repeatedly fouled, some shocking refereeing decisions, and it led to Maradona being sent off for a retaliatory challenge against Brazil’s Batista.

The 1986 World cup however was to belong to Diego Maradona he finally stamped his dominance on the world stage to become the most dynamic player in the competition, Argentina with Diego would beat West Germany in the final, on the way to the final Diego would score five goals and made five assists, none are more spoken about than his 2 against England, with the background of the Falklands War between Argentina and the UK still fresh on peoples minds.

The infamous Hand of God goal, followed by his 66yard run past 5 players and the goal of the tournament, it was later voted as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup. He gathered the ball in his own half, turned round taking eleven touches he ran 66 yards, gliding past five English players before he left keeper Shilton on his arse, and slotted the ball into the net. Also voted Goal of the Century in 2002.

Yes, Diego sure had his demons, sometimes brought about by the company he kept, fex: his links to the Cammora (Italian mafia) while at Napoli, but what he did outwith his day job, could easily be forgotten for what he showed when he stepped onto a football pitch the wee man was a genius with a ball, i always felt it was a priviledge to watch him.

Regarded as one of the most technically gifted dribblers in the game ever, Johan Cruyff said he noticed similarities between Maradona and Messi with the ball seemingly attached to their body when dribbling.

From Master to apprentice ?

He may have been silly after he had done it all on the biggest football stage in the world, and his demons multiplied with his fame, but there is no doubt whatsoever, that Diego Maradona was an exceptional and truly unrivaled player and an outstanding talented individual and athlete.

If you do one thing with your spare time, I seriously suggest you spend 20 minutes and watch this compilation video of this wee genius at work, undoubtedly the most skillful player ever, and probably the worlds most fouled football player …..oh to have seen him wear the famous hoops.

RIP Diego Armando Maradona.

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BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

My sincere apologies,as I intended to work this article into one about the move by Messi from Barcelona to PSG. Any time I tried to do it,the formatting went haywire and ruined the original.

It is the work of ASWGL,with again my grateful thanks,and deserves to be seen without my cack-handed efforts to make two points at the same time!

jimthetim53

ASWGL, that picture of Maradona & Messi proves my point about your love of imagery! Well done!

Margaret McGill

My favourite player of all time was Socrates of Brazil.
While both legends had skill in abundance
One was elegance intelligence and grace
the other was thuggery, cheating and savagery
hun like basically

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

However,it does raise a question. Of my generation,we all knew that Pele was the best ever-even though we really only saw him in the 1970 World Cup. Others,like my Dad and AULDHEID,saw Puskas and di Stefano in the flesh one night in 1960.

(I said to GARRY from here a few weeks back that I couldn’t believe that we were having a drink in Clydebank with THREE guys who actually attended that glorious occasion over sixty years ago!!!!!)

A few of us will have been lucky enough to have seen Maradona or such as Eusebio or Cruyff,maybe even Beckenbauer-who is the only defender usually mentioned in the GOAT STAKES,which tells you just how good a player he was. The only typical contender I’ve witnessed in the flesh was George Best,and that included on the pitch playing for Hibs and also for Fort Lauderdale. Not exactly when he was at his peak,but still good enough to run the legend that is Danny McGrain ragged.

He was scared of no-one,and proved it when he took my Dad on in a drinking competition in 1979! That’s a gross exaggeration,of course,but I still have the photograph to prove it. And I met him again about a decade later in,I think,The Eight Bells in London when I moved there. Suffice to say he was better with a ball at his feet than at the end of a cue.

But back to the point-is Maradona the best ever? Yes,on this one I agree with ASWGL. He was on our screens regularly,thanks to Channel Four piping it into our living rooms at the time. Anyone watching this small but robust firebrand could only be enthralled by his outrageous talent.

I know I was-and ATHINGOFBEAUTY could only sit and watch too,utterly awestruck. We could never be lucky enough to see such wizardry again in our lifetimes,could we?

And then along comes Messi-and in the company of Xavi and Iniesta too! Fuxake,God-did someone give you a Barcelona scarf for Christmas or summat? I’ve seen The Lisbon Lions play,I’ve seen George Connelly,Dalglish,McGrain,etc. I’ve seen the likes of Henrik and Virgil. I’ve also seen Best and Cruyff,and most of the great Leeds team of the 70s-just to throw in a few examples.

I’ve never seen three players that good in the same team,and I’ve never seen one as good as Messi.

But then-I never saw Maradona. Not live,in the flesh. YouTube is a treasure trove,and I’m off to trawl through it. Meantime,even the Yanks know how much the Messi move means…

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/10/sports/soccer/lionel-messi-options-PSG-.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Sports

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MAGS

Socrates had a grace about him,but just lacked the killer instinct. He wanted football to be The Beautiful Game,not about glory.

I prefer his way of thinking,but it was to his detriment I think.

Have you read the article BRTH did about him? Stunning-as they always are! I’ll try to find it

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

I’m pretty sure that BRT&H won’t object to this. He never has done in the past-though I usually ask his permission beforehand.

https://broganrogantrevinoandhogan.wordpress.com/?s=Socrates&submit=Search

Socrates. As MAGS pointed out,a genius footballer. As BRT&H points out,maybe a bit more than just that.

The Real McCoy

Nice article ASWGL 👏
‘ The SC Nightshift’ posted Diego tributes regularly during lockdown and I’m sure we all enjoyed them, especially this one set to Opus :-

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s7ZjU-6iSwk

In fact Copa America must have been lurking on Sentinel Celts and were inspired for their own special tribute to Maradona 😂

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oRej3JVsthI

Margaret McGill

Bobby
yes on BRTH
Have a look at this….

The Real McCoy

Bobby I seen Pele at Hampden in 1966 as they prepared for thon World Cup.
He was alright I suppose. Then again maybe he wasn’t that impressive that night coz he was shadowed by the man from across the street,
Mr Clark.😂

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MAGS

Fabulous footballer. Being a contrary bastert,I always thought that Eder was the star of the show in that team. But then,that’s just me.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

THEREALMCCOY

Show-aff bastert! Dreeping wi jealousy here!!!

jimthetim53

Off to my kip. A great wee chat about the greats. I loved Socrates. We had so much in common! He was a genius footballer, a doctor and enjoyed a drink & a smoke!
GNAGB

Puff puff

Soccer is a small world and all this talk about pele brought back great memories of when I arrived in Canada as I played against a player called Garry Ayre who had played a couple of seasons in the English 1 devision . He marked pele in a cup final am sure and now he was marking me …. he couldn’t touch me that day and looking back I wondered how pele done .

Puff puff

Jimthetim53 ..brilliant

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Eckelfeckin

Ah,the winner is the person who can delete yer pish,so eff off to Ecclefechan,ya twat.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

PUFFPUFF

It was when we were on holiday in Canada that we met George Best-we were in Windsor,but the occasion was in Detroit. Had an absolute ball,I really loved it.

Puff puff

Great story Bobby would love to hear the extension version over a beer one day .

Puff puff

Fantastic read from the Maryhill floor legend .

The Real McCoy

Aw Puff Puff 👋🏻
The time-zone beats us again I’m afraid 😧
Have to join Socrates, sorry Jim the Tim and wish you GNAGB💚
You too Bobby and Mags 🙏🏻

Puff puff

Good night the real McCoy …your a good wan .

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

PUFFPUFF

The extension version certainly isn’t getting told on here! It might get a partial airing at the hoot in a couple of weeks time though.Depends on how my Dad is feeling-and whether his daughters are about!

Puff puff

Hehehehe

Puff puff
Margaret McGill

Puff Puff
2:20 am
Aye did ye ?

Puff puff

Of course I did .

Puff puff

A # for McCaff … enjoy the season brother the thought of you and your son showing up in paradise every 2 week to watch the tic … sweet
https://youtu.be/JSlBrmPqKS8

Puff puff

Last wan tonight for Garrybhoy .
Don’t usually drink red on a Wednesday night but a wee glass and a puff puff is in order due to the wonderful week .https://youtu.be/lyNFXsunq2c

Leggy

Morning all,

For me Maradona was the best ever. Loved his first and second goals against England 😃😃😃

Really buzzing, as I will be returning to Celtic Park tonight for first time since lockdown.

Hope everyone who makes it tonight, enjoys the occasion and sees a big win with silky attacking football.

COYBIG 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

saltires en Sevilla

ASWGL

Top tribute to the best player of his generation. Had everything, including the flaws. To remind him he was human.

saltires en Sevilla

Squire Danaher
saltires en Sevilla

Re: Linwood.

Does the Peter Scarff CSC still leave from The Heritage Bar?

I went with them as a non-member to our first CL game at Juventus in 2001. A memorable trip in many ways never mind the football ha ha.

Left Linwood 00:00 Sunday, Monday overnight in Chambery, France, left for home straight after the game on Tuesday and arrived back in Linwood 03:30 Thursday.

Convener was a guy named Ian Reynolds, coincidentally I met him the following season in a pub in Blackburn.
—////—///—///

The Scarff is alive and well, not sure if it still runs from th Pondy/Ponderosa (Heritage).

We spent a great wee evening with Ian in another pub during the brief return after first lockdown, he was in his usual superb form. Chatting about another trip to Turin we both took on another CSC bus in 2013.

Fairly certain he will look in here. But I’ll remind him of you next time I see him.

HH

Squire Danaher

BMCUW/saltires en Sevilla

Sorry to hear Ian hasn’t been well

If you see him, give him my regards. A lovely guy.

He may recall my brother in law and I who were the two negotiators with the Gendarmes following some service station carryon, and me being the only guy on the bus with a credit card for the hotel deposit ha ha

Thetic

Puff puff I can get Gary Ayers phone number for you if you want to reminisce
What team were you playing for at the time

Thetic

I started reading ASWGLS great leader then the next 3 hours on YouTube watching South Americans put on a show That’s why it’s called the Beautiful Game , They are true artists
Off to sleep breakfast then the Ange show for lunch

Paddy’s Maw

Thanks for the advice re Hearts ticket and it not being taken from your bank account. I am in this situation and i contacted them as advised and got an email back saying IVE to call the ticket office to sort it out! Not impressed!

bada bing1

Facemasks still required in all areas of the stadium tonight

jimthetim53

Morning all & Packy.
I don’t understand the various facemask rulings. How can it be OK to not wear one in a pub or packed nightclub and yet you have wear one in a vast open air stadium?

Jobo Baldie

jimthetim53 – you do still have to wear face coverings in pubs and restaurants when moving around, going to toilet, etc. but not while seated at a table. As for wearing it at a stadium I can see why Celtic might be obliged to issue reminders about that, to cover their own position but when your sitting in your seat watching the game I think it should be optional rather than compulsory to keep it on.
Just because restrictions are lifting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep safe. I was in a shop on Monday where an old guy (sorry, another old guy!) actually said to me (as I was keeping a short distance behind the person in the queue) “you’ve not to socially distance from today!”.
Had I been going along tonight I’d certainly have worn a mask on entering the stadium or moving around. I’d likely have taken it off when at my seat.

bada bing1

JTT- Seems strange, was in a Club email this morning

Hot Smoked

Re Face Masks.
During the game on Sunday, the announcement was made several times during the game that Facemasks were to be worn.The vast majority ignored the instruction. I believe the same will be true tonight.

jimthetim53

There’s been a lot of confusion re. face masks. Scottish Government chopping & changing it’s position on an hourly basis recently.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58078053

Hot Smoked

These last few days have been worryingly good.
First, United beat Sevco. Next, we played beautiful football, slaughtered Dundee and found a new Hero in Kyogo. After this ( and possibly most important) Malmo pocketed the Huns paycheque. Yesterday, I shot below my age and won the Wednesday Sweep at Arbroath and tonight we take a two-goal lead into a full house Celtic Park.
If tonight and Saturday ( celebrating my girlfriend`s birthday in Cafe Andaluz then the Bon Accord) go as they should, then this really will have been A Week to Remember.
TitanicCSC

Garry Postecoglou

On Sunday, the vast majority were not wearing facemasks sitting watching the match.
The stadium announcer made a few requests to wear a mask whilst sitting in your seat. He was ignored. I wore my mask, entering and moving about the stadium. Same as I will do tonight.
You cannae sing wi a mask on.

Garry Postecoglou

Hot Smoked
Your new moniker should be Lucky Jim.
Congratulations. Maybe bump into you tonight. 👍🍀💚

bada bing1

You don’t require a paid subscription to watch the game on CelticTV tonight. It’s free to all UK, Ireland and Czech Republic viewers.

Hot Smoked

Garry P.
Luck ? Skill, dear bhoy :-))
Ill be at CQN Corner prior to the match ( which wont be the same without Jobo)so maybe see you there?.

Off out for a bike ride now on a lovely day in Angus.
Cheerio for now.

jimthetim53

Garry, get Hot Smoked to bring you down a pair of smokies. It’s Friday tomorrow! LOL 🙂

Garry Postecoglou

I need to pick up my ticket in East End before 6 tonight. See you in Creighton, the Ayrshire Crew. 👍🍀💚

Garry Postecoglou

JTT53
3 years ago. HS bought me an Arbroath Smokie.
Had it for my Christmas Day breakfast.
My best Christmas breakfast ever.
Had it with scrambled eggs and toast. Truly delicious.

jimthetim53

I can’t think of a better breakfast Garry! 🙂

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

HOTSMOKED 1048

I suggest you stick a few quid on the Euromillions tomorrow night as well!

Congratulations on scoring less than 100-!-on the course,and also to your gal on her birthday.

HH

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