RIP Diego Maradona

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Wow…also a reminder of how young footballers are in their prime, I mean he was in the World Cup when I was a just a kid…but then he was probably just a slightly older kid.

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I know he was more than a simple celebrity in Argentina. We don´t have nothing like him here.

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I mean…

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George Bello is the same age as my kid…

george-bello-flag

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I don’t think we can compare these two athletes.

Even today we have people who discuss which of the two was the greatest football player.

Here in Brazil some people admire Pele, but not like the Argentines.

Diego Maradona’s cult of personality in Argentina seems to me to be something out of this world.

I think the Brazilian sportsman who comes closest to this degree of popular admiration was Ayrton Senna.

Maradona is an Argentine phenomenon. One of a kind in the world of sport.

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Pelé played his first World Cup at the age of 17.

There is a Franco-Guinean film that shows the story of Salif Keita, a football player from Mali, who was the first African to win the sport’s biggest trophy in the 1970s.

The film shows how these children end up entering the millionaire world of football.

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Was Garrincha not more the people’s star than Pele? Maradonna was not only unquestionably the best, but he was the people’s hero, a bolshie, mouthy voice for the underdog. Hard as nails and skilled as all hell.

And all the complications we love in “heroes”. Anyway, he was the dog’s bollox.

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I am not a football fan, quite the contrary. But here are my two cents:

Garrincha was very good. But his life was not easy. He suffered from alcoholism and died young.

As he played a long time ago, many people do not know his exploits on the field. He couldn´t create a public image as the sports marketing, as we know today, had not yet been invented. Pelé could count on a more efficient team of advisers and managers, who knew how to guide his career.

That is why Garrincha, in spite of all his talent, did not enter this pantheon of the football gods.

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I think Bello was 16 when he started out… He began on AU 2 and moved over to the main team in September of 2018 against DC as a substitute player.

Babbies playing sportsball!

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It seems like football (proper, not American) seems to have a very different pipeline than American sports. Most recruitment for pro American football and basketball come from colleges (although I guess Lebron was recruited from HS?).

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Well lots of the greats are way beyond my memory. Pele played on to be almost synonymous with football internationally but my understanding is that at the time of their careers together Pele was admired in Brazil but Garrincha loved. That’s why I thought of him wrt Diego: he was Argentina’s Pele and Garrincha (and Revelinho etc…) and Puskas and Hagi…
ETA and Paul McGrath (not the most successful but most loved Irish player), George Best…

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It seems that no one could handle wet courses like Senna… and that was in unforgiving, pre-high-tech cars.

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I think so. All teams, large and small, have so-called base divisions.

They recruit these boys across the country and invest in their potential to be good players.

I think the most recent example was the case of the Argentine player Messi.

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When there’s talk of the United States’ over-the-top sports culture I think it’s good to show people what Futbol is like. The thing that drove it home to me was (I’m going to get all the details wrong here) Frank Lampard (I think) retiring (which actually means going to play in the MLS these days). The article mentioned that he had spent his entire 30-year career at Chelsea (maybe). Which got me thinking, wait, how the fuck old was he? 39.

It’s like if the US Little League was actually farm teams for MLB, but also you did that instead of going to a regular school.

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I think part of it was Argentina beating England in the World Cup so soon after the Falklands war, then going on to win the tournament. Forget the Hand of God, the Goal of the Century showed why he was the best player on the pitch that day. If Maradona hadn’t played that day then England would have probably won the game.

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They go to regular school too. We don’t really have university teams though in the same way that the US has college sports, it isn’t that unusual for 16-17 year olds to be playing for the first team of professional teams in the UK. There have been a few problems when underage players have won the player of the match award, which is usually a bottle of champagne or whisky, and an alternative prize has to be found.

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I didn’t know the details in the UK, but in the Netherlands at least I understand that they don’t (they have school, but it’s part of the soccer academy).

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I think the big teams are starting to do that here, and maybe Crewe Alexandra who have focused on training young players for the last 40 years. Most of the other teams just have their players go to the local schools then go to the training ground for a couple of hours after lessons have finished.

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A video obituary

Let me just say: the hand of god goes to meet his maker.

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Napoli are considering renaming their stadium after Maradona.

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