Diego Maradona will always be remembered as one of the greatest footballers of all time, but his antics at the 2018 Fifa World Cup would probably have caused great embarrassment to even his most ardent fans.
More than 20 years after he retired as a player, Maradona managed to get himself in the limelight even as his home country, Argentina, made an early exit from the tournament. The 58-year-old, who has battled several health problems and a cocaine addiction, was filmed dancing with fans, napping while the matches were on, yelling at his compatriots on the pitch and making two-handed middle-finger gestures to fans during Argentina’s narrow win over Nigeria. His entourage just about managed to stop him from falling off a balcony during one such exchange with fans.
And when Argentina sealed a spot in the last-16, Maradona was seen as if in a trance, grimacing towards the sky, arms grappling his chest.
The football great also claimed he could turn the team’s fortunes if he were made coach – but considering his behaviour at the tournament in Russia, the national team is probably better off without his presence. Maradona’s antics were entertaining for neutral observers, but one wonders what the Argentina team and their fans think about the iconic footballer now.