Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saint Maradona

"Maradona is the King of Argentina" I remarked off handedly to the man on the ferry
"Maradona is not a king" He replied disgustedly, "He is a God"
And there you have it. Nothing more to be said. Browsing the newspaper stands in Buenos Aires you can find about 8 magazine covers with Lord Maradona. ( To put this into perspective thats about 3 more than Shakira). He even has his own TV show at the moment called the Night of the Number 10. ( No prize for guessing that was the numero on his football jersey). The new look trimmed down, stomach stapled Maradona has already appeared interviewing Fidel Castro, Heading footballs with Pele and achieving other impossible feats such as getting more than 4 syllables out of Mike Tyson. It also appears he´s set for a political career, rallying the protesters against George W Bush´s recent visit. Needless to say theres a Diego Maradona shop, every type of Diego Maradona coffee cup, or souvenir football you could ever desire.

For the Argentinians he reflects their tumultous times. He began life in the slums of Buenos Aires and made it to the top of world football even leading them to the world cup victory in 1986. His most famous incident ( after firing an airgun at a reporter, or getting hooked on Cocaine, or whacking on double his weight) was the hand of god incident against England. In the world cup semi final he famously hit the ball into the net with his hand thereby leading Argentina to victory. To a country that holds the value of sneakiness and cheekiness above all else it was perfect. Upon being blamed for "robbing" the game, he was even heard to reply, "Whoever robs a thief gets a 100 year pardon" referring to the recent Falklands war with England.

Moreover as Argentina´s fortunes faltered during the currency crisis, so did Maradona´s. He was on his deathbed addicted to Cocaine. But now he´s back, bigger, better and cheekier than ever, just like Argentinas economic fortunes. All Praise to be maradona

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