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At TENLEGEND, we appreciate football genius.

A part of football has died. A legend among legends has passed. Argentina has declared 3 days of national mourning to pay their respects to Diego Maradona. People all over the world have tears in their eyes. Part of why TENLEGEND exists is due to Diego. This is a man who brought out the passion of the game in us. He made us cheer, shout and shake our fists. And now our hearts break for his tragic loss.

A magician with the ball – deceptively quick and a visionary passer – Maradona will forever be considered the greatest soccer player ever, next to Brazil’s Pele. In Argentina, he was worshipped as “El Dios” – The God – partly a play on words on his number 10 shirt, “El Diez.” In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed "...its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend,” adding, "You will always be in our hearts."

While declaring three days of national mourning, Alberto Fernandez, the president of Argentina, said, "You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all. Thank you for having existed, Diego. We're going to miss you all our lives." Pele's tribute to Diego Maradona was simply, "One day we'll kick a ball together in the sky above."

Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said, "By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed, but troubled life, hopefully he'll finally find some comfort in the hands of God."

The poet, Eduardo Galeano, wrote this tribute: "Maradona is uncontrollable when he speaks, but much more so when he plays. No one can predict the devilish tricks this inventor of surprises will dream up for the simple joy of throwing the computers off track, tricks he never repeats. He's not quick, more like a short-legged bull, but he carries the ball sewn to his foot and he has eyes all over his body. His acrobatic lights up the field. He can win a match with a thundering blast when his back is to the goal, or with an impossible pass from afar when he is corralled by thousands of enemy legs. and no one can stop him when he decides to dribble upfield. In the frigid soccer of today's world, which detests defeat and forbids all fun, that man was one of the few who proved that fantasy too can be effective."

Considered one of the greatest players to set foot on a pitch, Diego Armando Maradona gripped the hearts and imaginations of many for decades with his undeniably legendary abilities. A midfield magician, Maradona’s style is most remembered for his panache (and controversies) during the 1986 FIFA World Cup, in which he led his beloved Argentina to the pinnacle of football in the most extraordinary fashion.

“Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona. Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been.” — Lionel Messi

Maradona’s magnificent dribbling ability was one of his most prominent attributes and one skill that made him such a formidable offensive force in tactical terms. Possibly the greatest dribbler in football history, Maradona was able to bolt past any opponent with speed and agility — all while making it look seemingly effortless. His pace and bold fortitude with the ball at his feet was intimidating for defenders. He was always drifting across the pitch, making him impossible to tightly mark, especially when he was in full speed.

“Beyond everything else, no ball ever had a better experience than when it was at his left foot.” — Jorge Valdano

Maradona scored what was arguably football’s best goal ever: the remarkable solo effort scored against England in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona took the ball from Argentina’s half, skilfully dribbling past five opposition players before easily overtaking Peter Shilton. Diego baffled the imaginations of fans across the globe throughout the 1986 World Cup, becoming the first player to singularly win the World Cup since Brazil’s legendary Right-winger Garrincha, in 1962. Maradona played at a time when defenders were extremely strong and brutal. He was fouled, for example, during the 1986 FIFA World Cup tournament: fifty-three times.

Maradona was short and stocky. This allowed Maradona to keep the ball neatly, and to shield it from opposition. This also meant that Diego had amazing balance, which resulted in the attacking midfielder being able to jump tackles conveniently, regardless of how malicious some proved to be. Maradona was the precursor of the number ten mastering the set-piece play. He consistently scored from direct free-kicks thanks to a fantastic left-foot, which produced a great curve on the ball, and was able to find the top corner in a dead ball situation.

“What Zidane could do with a ball, Maradona could do with an ORANGE.” — Michel Platini

Maradona defined what is known as an enganche/trequartista. What made Diego so effective was that he had a superb vision and the best technical ability. He was simply amazing, spontaneously inventing moves and plays current legends have copied…or tried to copy! No one will ever be like him. One, if not THE greatest of all time, is gone. His memory, his skill set, plays and dribbles will forever stay in football fans’ memories forever. 

The best player ever?  Or one of?

One thing is for sure, he brought a nation together.  

Rest In Peace, Diego

Honoring a Legend. Thank you for the amazing things you did on the pitch. People from everywhere celebrated your talent and will do so forever.

Thank you for giving us the most beautiful gift… the love of the game. Thank you for making it the beautiful game

Un abrazo grande pide de oro!

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