Diego Maradona is one of the most exciting and disconcerting characters of our time, not just in sports. Truly the greatest soccer player of his generation in a time when the game went to full globalization, he chose to contend the bureaucrats at the international management board (FIFA) for the sake of the players and the public rights, turning himself into a real-life “Rollerball” Johnatan. But unlike James Caan’s character in the movie, his story lacks the choreographic beauty of fiction.
He is conscious of his many flaws and weaknesses: a birth in a slum, a driven for sex, food and drugs. So, he was beaten down once and again to the verge of death, just to reinvent himself and rise to the center stage miraculously each time. The last one as his country’s team manager at the World Cup. He stole everybody’s hearts with his overflowing expressions and cunning answers to the press. To the relief of FIFA’s nerves, his team didn’t reach the finals, but he earned a full apology from his critics in the meantime.
After this new failure, some mediocrities tried to link this circumstance with the non-orthodox way of Argentina’s present government. But, just when his contract renewal is to be discussed, Maradona doubles the bet appearing together with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez in a defiant mood. May be it’s true that, in the end, “the game is bigger than the individual” ( as the “Rollerball” motto goes) but people like him keeps alive the thought that the History still didn’t reach its end.
PS: Mardona’s contract hasn’t been renewed as expected. The President announced that she’ll call him for a chat. I wish she’d offer him to organize a big tournament for all the poor kids along the country with a comprehensive program of job and artistic training for them.