Hand of God: The Life of Diego Maradona, Soccer's Fallen Star

Jim Burns, Author Lyons and Burford Publishers $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55821-597-9
Financial Times reporter Burns tells here the story of Argentina's greatest soccer hero. Diego Maradona was born in 1960 to a family of working poor in Buenos Aires. Already at age 10 his soccer skills were considered so remarkable that he was performing solo, showing off his kicking skills between halves of major games. He made his first professional appearance before he was 15 and within seven years reached a point where no Argentinean team could afford him, partly because the military junta that ran the country until the Falklands war in 1982 had built him up as a national hero. He was eventually traded to Barcelona, a city that viewed him as a peasant, and there he began using cocaine. Subsequently he was sold to Naples, Seville, then Rosario, Argentina, becoming increasingly unmanageable and paranoiac and claiming that others were attempting to destroy him. Finally, he tested positive for drugs during the 1994 World Cup and was thrown off the Argentine team, further accelerating his downhill slide. Using off-putting soccer jargon and British slang, Burns's examination of Maradona's post-Barcelona behavior reaches for metaphysical explanations rather than more practically viewing it as typical of cocaine addiction. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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FORMATS
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-1-58574-242-4
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