A man of 60 who is already tired of being Maradona

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While the world celebrates for him and tributes multiply, Diego hung up the superhero costume a long time ago. Although it can never be completely removed.

Any morning, any day, any week, one of those that repeat in a loop in the middle of the pandemic, becomes a unique moment.

A truck arrives at the New Gasometer.

San Lorenzo and Gimnasia are already playing a televised friendly. In normal times, few things could be less attractive than watching a friendly game on television. With normal people, it is not seductive to look through a camera and for 90 minutes at the gestures of a manager while the game is going on.

Maradona arrives.

To an empty court, to a Wednesday morning friendly in the middle of a pandemic. The scenarios change but the magnet is the same as that of that entrance to the San Paolo that the director Asif Kapadia used as the opening punch of the documentary that reflects what Diego means in Naples. Those were the days when he started to be the best in the world. These are the days when you no longer feel like being.

He hugs Marcelo Tinelli and clarifies that he never had problems with him. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or a lie. Receive an umpteenth t-shirt. His own and others greet him. He gives away an unpublished photograph, an unexpected newspaper cover thanks to the mask that the doctor recommended to use. They all look at it. Get the squad together in a round and improvise a technical talk.

– After here we go to the World Cup? –Dieguito Fernando asks him, holding his hand.

For about an hour, Maradona is Maradona.

He gets into the truck when the substitutes are about to play the second friendly. And he goes. He is once again Diego, the man who turns 60.

His sisters say that they would never have imagined seeing him with a dog at upa, that they did not have a pet in Fiorito and that he used to be averse to animals.

“I want a dog,” Diego said.

He had already become fond of one who appeared in the country where he lived in Bella Vista and who due to his unruly and quite giddy character had been baptized with the nickname of a player from the campus.

Lola, a French Bulldog puppy, arrived at her new home in Brandsen. And then Sofía stopped by, a mare (yes, a mare) who roamed the park and entertained Dieguito Fernando’s more and more frequent visits. “It’s like that, maybe it ends up making a zoo,” they summarize.

Diego does not come with an instruction manual.

You can void a millionaire contract because you got up in a bad mood. It may seem to inevitably lead to a new addiction and overnight to turn around and tame yourself like no one else could have done. You may not have a barbecue in your life and from there go on to light the brazier every holy day. You can fall in love with a new club and live dressed in gym clothes. You can get annoyed with the news that sprout in your name like when insomnia beat you in Dubai and zapping made you angry at dawn with Jorge Rial’s program. You may be unaware of many things that happen around you but pick up a phone and improve the lives of a lot of Villa Palito boys who are now going to be able to play in a much nicer paddock. It can make Culiacán interested in soccer. You can walk crooked and not resist the urge to kick a ball. You can get France Football for the first time in its history to get you a replica of the Ballon d’Or because the honorary trophy he had been given in 1995 was set on fire in a fire at Devoto’s house. You can live with yourself. And that is a lot to say.

For its 60th anniversary, books, documentaries, tributes sprout. Hardly anyone managed to talk to the main character in those books, those documentaries and those tributes. Requests for interviews came in from all the cardinal points. “He does not want to know anything”, is the summary.


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