Diego Maradona: How the 1986 World Cup defined the legend as a player and a person

Maradona 1986 World Cup EnglandGetty Images

The mere mention of Diego Maradona will, in most cases, bring about a recollection of the 1986 World Cup in the minds of football fans.

The Argentine star attained global fame and status as one of the greatest players the game has ever seen after the 1986 World Cup. It could be argued that he single-handedly carried that Argentina side to World Cup glory ahead of more fancied outfits.

Mexico ‘86 was the stage where Diego Maradona outdid himself and showed the world there was a worthy challenger to Pele’s throne as the greatest footballer of all time.

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It was also the stage where Diego Maradona showed the world he was not a perfect role model of a footballer. He was gritty, he was streetwise, he was controversial and he would do anything to win.

It’s this humane side of Diego Maradona that Amazon Prime Video’s original series ‘Maradona: Blessed Dream’ explores. Available in English, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali and Tamil for the Indian audience, the series tells the inside story of Maradona’s life.

Eight out of 10 episodes have been released and the latest episode reveals how Maradona’s private life and mindset was just ahead of the 1986 World Cup. It gives us an understanding of how he coped with his immense footballing talent, god-like status among fans, his advisors, personal life and controversies.

It gives us fans an insight as we attempt to decode why Maradona did what he did. And the 1986 World Cup, expected to feature in the next episodes which will be released on November 19 and 26, is a perfect summation of the man.

Going into that tournament as his nation’s great hope, Maradona had a lot of pressure on him. Despite all that, he managed to forge moments that would define his legacy. There were inspiring deeds and also controversial acts, outlining the man’s volatility.

Diego Maradona NapoliAlfredo Capozzi

As shown in the series, Maradona had his share of issues going into the 1986 World Cup. When he arrived at Napoli in 1984, the Serie A was dominated by teams form the North and Central Italy like Juventus, AC Milan etc. No team from the south had won a league title.

Maradona, who soon became captain of the Napoli side, would change the balance but not before he became a darling of the Napoli crowd. But in the 1985-86 season, despite a good season, he had his off-the field troubles. His personal life had several challenges and he had some issues with his fitness. He had to deal with all this and more before he led Argentina to the World Cup in Mexico.

All of the details, a lot of it unknown so far, has been revealed in the Amazon Prime Video’s series. Click here to watch the series and learn more about the great man.