Eclectic Blue

Maradona – the tears of a clown

Comments Off on Maradona – the tears of a clown 26 June 2018

Now, I can’t stand Diego Maradona. Like Terry Butcher, perhaps slightly less so, I will never forgive him for the “hand of God”, not least because a fictional character cannot possibly score a goal, unless he is Roy Race. Maradona later scored his legendary goal against us, but it was too late for me. I would always hate him.

In Russia, the TV director hones in on him every time Argentina do something. He is either overjoyed and thanking his imaginary friend or distraught and looking to his imaginary friend for guidance. And we take the piss out of him and roundly abuse him. I must admit that I have uttered the odd expletive when Maradona appears. But then the empathetic side of me steps forward and I see a clown in action.

And when Maradona cried at Argentina’s recent defeat, I saw the tears of a clown and I did not celebrate his distress for more than a second or two. I wondered how it was this past superstar could have descended into such a comic figure. In short, he did not, and does not, look well.

He certainly looks unwell in the physical sense. He looks anything but one of the greatest footballers, and thus athletes of all time. It is the mental side that concerns me.

I have no idea whether Maradona has some demons but in my inexpert judgement, as someone who is once again in therapy, no one acts like he does unless there is something wrong. We know that he was once a cokehead and an alcoholic who suffered as a result of his addictions. Maybe that’s it. For all I know, his addictions, from which he is now happily cured, may have left him with lasting, perhaps permanent, damage. Nothing else I can think of can explain the state of this man.

When I see the widespread and ongoing loathing of Maradona, even if I understand it – I hate, yes hate, what he did – my overwhelming emotion is pity. He is a pitiful character with few, if any, redeeming features.

The Russian TV director loves to show us a freakshow because it fuels our hatred towards Maradona. It allows to take the piss out of the way he looks now, it allows us some semblance of revenge. It’s not a positive emotion, is it?

I prefer to watch Lionel Messi in action. Whether he, Maradona, Ronaldo (C) or anyone else is the greatest player of all time is purely subjective. I can only judge my favourite players and that’s totally different. When Messi lined up for Barcelona alongside Iniesta and Xavi, football for me became as perfect as perfect can be, even more so than Cruyff’s Netherlands. If people prefer Maradona, that’s fine by me. I would certainly prefer it if he was remembered for the greatness of his football than for the parody of himself he has become. But I still don’t like him.

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