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 ยฃ5 million, then to Napoli for ยฃ6.9 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 ยฃ5 million Maradona won the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup, The following year, Barcelona beat Real Madrid in El Clรกsico, 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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saltires en Sevilla

Turnbull motm absolutely top game tonite

Very promising – early days but big improvement all over pitch

Glad for the fans back in Paradise

jimthetim53

Turnbull well deserved MOTM.
And I loved the quick reaction of JF to the rebound.

jimthetim53

Where’s FAN?

fan

BMCUWP
To clarify Taylor played well but it is clear our opponents saw him as defensively weak as everything they tried was down that side.Was the same in Hearts game so obviously our opponents having studied us see weakness there.
Liking the Turnbull and McGregor partnership thats forming.
McGregor’s body positioning and mindset much more positive under Ange.
Ed still giving about 50%.
Ajeti looks thoroughly uninterested.
Not convinced Forrest believes yet.
Hart will be a shotstopper like FF was.
We are improving at bringing ball out from back but could still be better.
Soro has a very poor first touch and needs a lot of coaching.Not sure he has much more than physicality?
Maybe Shaw or Robertson should be tried?

Jobo Baldie

Another very good performance tonight.
CalMac was immense and was my man of the match. Taylor had one of his best games in a Celtic shirt and Rogic, in the first half, was like the genius of old.
I’ve always been a ‘performance’ over ‘result’ guy but brilliant that we are now getting both.

saltires en Sevilla

https://youtu.be/xT5xsf2q0AE

Wee 40 minute video on our next opponents – AZ alkmaar

fan

Jimthetim53
I am a slow one fingered typist.

jimthetim53

Fan, LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Always enjoy reading your honest take on the play.

Auldheid

The two saves by Hart were probably the event of the evening that most will take comfort in. A goalie that makes saves is what we have not seen for over a season, so nice to see the welcome return of one even if he is no Callum McGregor.

Lots of good performances and some of Rogic’s Magic is back, not a bad midfield.

Kyogi is inspirational, Ralston and Taylor playing with confidence so things looking up.

Ateji yet to show anything that merits keeping him though.

Eddie not quite sharp as he was.

MAGUA

Craig76

Thanks for the link. Watched most of the 2nd half. Our passing and movement were amazing. Main plus for me… Joe Hart. Got us out of gaol a couple of times. Unfortunately, the site crashed with 10 minutes to go, and I now have an inbox full of dodgy messages. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Hail Hail.

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Well, thanks to Craig 76 with added assistance from BMCUWP, I had my first ever use ot the โ€˜ dodgy streamโ€™ ! Only two freezes which were overcome by banging keys till it came back! Definitely not done their homework on the Celtic Demograph๐Ÿ˜
As to the game, not as sharp as Sunday but higher standard opponents. Still positives outweigh negatives by a country mile cf latter Lennon days.
As regards Covid 19, only reaction is I feel a bit tired quickly though Mrs CCB says Iโ€™m always tired.
Breakout day is Tuesday, so AKZ it is๐Ÿ˜

jimthetim53

According to Wiki AZ Alkmaar were founded in the same month we won Big Ears!
could be an omen for them.

Craig 76

MAGUA ๐Ÿ‘
Do share these messages with all of us ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ
CCB ๐Ÿ‘

MAGUA

Jimthetim

Naughty Bhoy. You should know that the original Huns died by their obsession to match our feat of 25th May1967. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž

And Newco are gonna die, by their obsession with stopping the ten. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Pay yer taxes, ye feckers. Though, to be honest, I haven’t paid a penny to the Bluenose Broadcasting Corporation at Pacific Quay, for many a long year. Does this make me a bad Bhoy??

Hail Hail.

jimthetim53

Magua, NAW! ๐Ÿ™‚

MAGUA

Craig76

Sorry mate. I’ve already sent them to Alfredo Morelos…I’ve got him on speed-dial, doncha know. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹Hail Hail.

Pitymevin

Good result and Adidas have either given the team bigger shirts or the team all look slimmer, fitter and faster.

Keep up the good work Ange

The Real McCoy

Comfortable result. Must admit Iโ€™m disappointed though. Had DT to score first and 4/5/6 The Tic .๐Ÿ˜ง
Onto Sunday. Who to choose for first goal ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‚
Seen this on Facebook ( hope it works ๐Ÿคž)
Return to Paradise tonight ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’š

https://m.facebook.com/lisbonlions67/videos/505872470392964/

bada bing1

AP said we were โ€˜okโ€™ โ€ฆโ€ฆmeasured assessment,need to pick our times to play out from the back,or it will cost us big time

MAGUA

Jimthetim

Didnae think so…just needed the benediction. Hail Hail.

jimthetim53

The Real McCoy, Lovely stuff!

bada bing1

Alkmaar Wednesday at CP

5PM KICK OFF

The Real McCoy

Thanks Jim ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
Thatโ€™s a lovely video.๐Ÿ’š
Just shows how upbeat we are now when Iโ€™m betting 4/5/6 The Tic. Hopefully plenty more opportunities ongoing ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ˜‚

jimthetim53

What a difference a week makes. I’ve hardly thought about the Board.
that suits them right enough.

bada bing1

Hold that result, website says 5pm on Thursday โ€ฆCTV said half a dozen times itโ€™s on Wednesday?

jimthetim53

According to the BBC it’s Thursday. Although it does say TBC. To be confirmed.

Billy Bhoy

I thoroughly enjoyed that tonight. Its night and day from last season and a damning indictment on Neil Lennon’s coaching skills! Guys that we thought were spent have come roaring back to form. Our entire midfield and I’d even say Ajeti and Edouard looked lively when they came on.
I’d keep Eddy. If he scores another 20+ goals this season we win the league and pocket ยฃ43m.
Surely that’s better than a ยฃ15m transfer now to Brighton or whoever?

BTW the early (wrongly) disallowed goal by Kyogo might be the best team goal we score all season.

Oh for the introduction of VAR!

Pitymevin

Well if the BBC say it Jim, it must be true

jimthetim53

Pitmevin, LOL. I know what you mean. But they do make Eastenders! (BOAK!!!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Squire Danaher

I have been catching up and reading the comments from earlier in the day.

Rebus67/Chairbhoy both deserve credit for the debate through this afternoon/early evening.

I am usually with Chairbhoy but Rebus 6:42 comment struck a chord.

I have often wondered if P Lawwell took the view motivated not to pursue due financial punishment/consequences for the Huns for fear of further toxification of the cesspit which is Scottish football, and literally fear for the safety of Celtic employees and supporters.

You could bet your sweet bippy that the furore would be presented in the media as an OF issue rather than a governance issue and we would get the blame.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

It’s absolutely terrific reading back,so many positive posts about the performance,the shape,the progress that we seem to be making.

What is not so terrific is reading back after I’ve just written tomorrow’s article and seeing people posting it in advance-including,from BILLYBHOY,the bloody title!

Ach well,simple fact is that tonight is another step forward,one which certainly builds our confidence. We have some new additions who have slotted in very well indeed,and they seem to be bringing out the best in everyone around them. If we can continue this level of improvement,there will be one very happy bunny down in Swindon,for sure.

Pitymevin

Jim I’ve not watched it since Mike Reid died.

RIP MIKE

MAGUA

Billy Bhoy

In an honest country, the introduction of VAR would be a God-send to us. But under the SFA, an additional 5 Masonic bastards-staring at a screen-would be no use whatsoever.

Let’s use future European games, to protest against these swines. Anti-SFA protests, should be the order of the day .

Hail Hail.

jimthetim53

“At the moment we’re asking a core group of payers – we don’t have a great deal of depth – to play a high energy type of game. Having the crowd behind them just gives them that little bit of extra energy they may need if they feel the tank is getting a bit empty.” (Ange)

Good to read that. Recognising and stating publicly we still need more signings.

fan

Billy Bhoy
I can see Kyogo and Abada being denied legitimate goals this season by linesmen.
No VAR and poor camera coverage will allow flag waving cheats like red card Ross to assist our opponents.
With the convenient help of a silent mssm. like Abada’s recent wrongly chopped off goal at Tynecastle that barely got a mention in the best wee country.

bada bing1

Jablonec RB was excellent, Czech, Croatia, Serbia is where we should be looking for value for money players

Garry Postecoglou

That was excellent tonight. Every player performed to their best. It is amazing the difference a clued up tactician/coach can make to a squad of players. Ange Postecoglou has improved every player in our team. I knew he was the real deal, but I never expected to turn us around so quickly. Amazing to witness. The atmosphere in that stadium tonight was fantastic. The thunder is back. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’š

MAGUA

Bada Bing

Correct. We should be mining those countries for diamonds like Lubo. The more the merrier…

Hail Hail.

Pitymevin

The daily ranger has give calmac a 6 out of 10.

Thats nice

MAGUA

Garry

Glad you enjoyed the game, a chara. Thought we were fab. Ange obviously expects 100% from every player
Every game. That’ll do me.

Hail Hail.

A thing of beauty

Checking in before I head to baw baw. Absolutely amazing to be at Celtic park tonight. The place was rocking and this helped the players but the players helped the fans with some great play. I think all the players have bought into Angeโ€™s philosophy and yes there will be ups and downs but it wonโ€™t be boring. As you know I like to moan so note to Starfelt – stay on your feet man!! Worse than ajer.
CCB was missed again but i will be buzzing to have him back in paradise next week.
Btw traffic tonight was shocking. I am a cyclist but honestly theyโ€™ve taken it too far. So many places with 2 lanes that are now only one and the other for cycling. Never saw one bike!!

Garry Postecoglou

Magua
Longtime since I have heard such a singsong on the Balloch train. The Clydebank, Dumbarton and Vale bhoys in fine voice. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช

MAGUA

Garry

Absolutely. We -used to have a day out in Prestwick-once a year. First stop, The Red Lion. Then all the boozers in Prestwick had the pleasure of our company. Massive cargo for the train back-rebs belted oot-before finishing at the Brazen or the Welcome Inn.

Would be oot the game by 10th pint these days…a mere mouthwash back in the day.

Hail Hail .

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

PITYMENEVIN

Prick handing out the ratings gave our starting eleven an average of 6.7/10

He gets paid for that stuff,believe it or not!

Pitymevin

Glad you had a great night Gary.

There seems to be a whole new approach to the play and its magic to watch

Pitymevin

Bobby i think huns all got 9s on Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚
Funk them, I enjoy them rattling like a bag of gingies

Auldheid

Rebus67
Chairbhoy and Auldheid,

I hesitate to post this but feel I should put forward an alternative view. The issue? Celtic collusion in aiding Sevco.

Where is the evidence of this? Where is the smoking gun? Secondly, even if it could be proved, which law, football or otherwise is it violating? Certainly, it would be a breach of faith for many fans but is it โ€œillegal? Perhaps some law of competition would be violated but that would be a very tough case to prove. Too many factors involved to show clear causalityโ€ฆ..think of confounding to be succinct.

I once did a study of teachersโ€™ salaries and the sales of alcohol over two decades. Both variables increased in tandem over that period, but could I conclude that teachers were drinking more? What I see is a similar type of evidence presented on how the performances of the two clubs change, and then a gigantic leap to associate the two according to a predetermined agenda.

Please do not conclude that I think Sevco and Celtic run their businesses flawlessly. I do not. But where is the evidence of collusion? Simply, observing that one club is up when the other is down, is necessary but NOT sufficient.

If I were to draw the analogy in religion, Iโ€™d classify myself as agnostic rather than atheist. Show me and others the beef!

Rebus

August 12, 2021 3:46 pm
===============================
Collusion : – a deceitful agreement or secret cooperation between two or more parties to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading or defrauding others …

The fact it is secret means it is difficult to prove as would be proving its deliberate. I got that from a lawyer on proving shareholders were deliberately lied to at the 2019 AGM, twice . He came to that opinion having seen a load of evidence, however what he did not say is that was said to shareholders at the AGM was the truth. It clearly wasn’t but proving it was deliberately misleading was the issue.

Based on the evidence however the only conclusion is that The Board were negligent/incompetent in their response to shareholders.

That is a matter of shareholder concern just as much as the the decline in standards of players, for whatever reason, led to losing the title last season. The motivations are not known or provable, not without taking on huge legal costs with no guarantee of success (the legal advice re 2019) and so I would never suggest collusion as defined above. (However it is perfectly legitimate for shareholders to ask questions at an AGM if negligence/incompetence can be demonstrated and up to the Board to say they acted professionally and honestly and no one was misled in answering. It’s called accountability)

What I was meaning with reference to Rangers was that the greatest risk to Celtic’s football success in Scotland is the behaviour of the club at Ibrox and the protection they get from SFA and other clubs, who depend on their presence in Scottish football for TV money much more than Celtic do. Hence from a Celtic business perspective they need watching, their secrets might even surface if proper scrutiny applied.

If Celtic do not do that as they failed to do during the Res12 escapade, it does make you wonder why and the thing that stops you thinking collusion is not knowing for sure and the shattering of a belief I think we all hold/held that Celtic are the good guys.

Chairbhoy. When I said “they cheat that is what they do”, I was thinking of the fox being persuaded by the scorpion to give it a hitch on its nose across a stream. The fox says ” no you will sting me”, but scorpions says “if I do we both will drown”. That argument persuades the fox to give the scorpion a hitch. Halfway over the scorpion stings the fox, who starts to sink as his legs numb. ” Why did you do that?” asks the fox. ” We will both drown”.
” Its my nature ” says the scorpion. Another reason they need watching.

I agree what happened during the ebt years bears no comparison to last season, we were not as lucky as they were with Covid and it did not help that the quality of our players had dropped in football terms, whilst theirs had gone up. I think that is because they bought players reasonably affordable of experience and strength, Celtic had players where sell on value was more important than football value. The very fact we have 3 experienced players in tonight’s team who only arrived in the past month suggest that with PL out the door and his boss realising what a clusterfup he had allowed to happen by concentrating on the bottom line being the key kpi for PL , that a lesson I hope has been learned but it is a pity it took a total collapse to point out the folly of putting return on investment before putting strong experienced footballers on the park. Taking nothing from Ange, he looks like just what we need but the majority of Celtic social media contributors knew what was needed 4 years ago.

My reason for suggesting it looked deliberate with no proof was simply observing the failure of Celtic to reduce the risks of not qualifying for Europe.

Player turnover and lack of match fitness being two. Celtic should have been championing a change of season to reduce both risks. I would have.

It would have helped all clubs go further in Europe. Why wasnt it done? It makes sense. Laziness on part of The Board/CEO I reckon, why make an effort when supporters still turn up even though on a downward slide to the bottom. Roger Mitchell called it Managed Decline and in a recent public letter to D McKay advised Celtic to break free from Rangers dependency. The thing about managed decline is that it was done for a purpose, not something that just happened. So what was the purpose? As I think Fan said earlier, it doesn’t make sense.

Paul67 has a better grip on UEFA FFP Break Even as I and I think his interpretation is accurate. The process allows a club 3 years to sort itself out so whilst they had alarm bell ringing accounts in the past, the break even threshold could not have been breached , remember it was set aside for the 2020 Covid impact. Alternatively, that notwithstanding, the SFA may have been less than diligent as they were in 2011, or they were lied to by Rangers. Both have dubious form in that regard.

Last point on Paul’s blog was that at present a club has to be granted a licence to play in Europe and that is the job of the SFA, so unless UEFA have changed that under Break Even rules , then it is the SFA who decide whether they are break even compliant or not before they grant. You can see from the foregoing why the SFA needs watching.

When national association like the Greek FA in 2012 where they were unsure whether or not to grant a licence to a club that had an overdue payable, they did grant it but asked UEFA to check. UEFA did well before the first fixtures were drawn and said licence should not be granted. The Greek club appealed to CAS but they upheld UEFA’s decision. My point is the Greek FA did their job, I’d want assurances the SFA will do theirs.

Apologies for interrupting the football chat as its great to look forward to watching Celtic play good football.

MAGUA

Pitymevin

Not so sir…they all got 55 ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž

Hail Hail.

Billy Bhoy

Bobby
I’m extremely hurt by your earlier comment.
Yes, I stole your thunder by announcing that we were going to win the league – but I left you to announce that the treble was a formality. Oh shit – I’ve done it again!

OK I’ll leave it to you to w that we’ll probably not lose another domestic game this season. Aw FFS I’ve done it again haven’t I?

OK I’m calling it a night.

Good luck with the article BTW ๐Ÿ™‚

Auldheid

Fan
BMCUWP
.
McGregorโ€™s body positioning and mindset much more positive under Ange
——————–
When John Hartson said words to that effect I thought I must check if Fan agrees. ๐Ÿ™‚

He was moving the ball and himself around better for sure.