Diego Maradona will forever be loved in Argentina.
That’s what happens when you lead your country to World Cup glory, as he did in 1986, captaining the team and leading the tournament’s scoring charts.
If you want to see what happens when you turn into a douchebag of the highest order once retiring, last night was basically your play-by-play account, and I would advise Diego to steer clear of travelling to Nigeria for the rest of his life.
You might have seen Maradona’s exploits unfolding onscreen, but there are a few videos going around from behind the scenes that paint a sad picture.
Anyway, as I predicted yesterday, the Argentine was shown over and over again. First up, his pre-match boogie with a Nigerian fan.
So far so good:
Maradona officially not worried pic.twitter.com/6scd3T9AeH
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) June 26, 2018
Then there was his celebration when Messi’s superbly taken goal went in:
Bit worrying when the eyes roll back into the head, but still OK.
You think he might have a God Complex?
After all the excitement, Maradona crashed during the latter part of the first half. That, or the blow wore off:
The Hand of God in the land of nod pic.twitter.com/3LPG9ivOP9
— Derek Alberts (@derekalberts1) June 26, 2018
The most infamous video doing the rounds is Maradona celebrating the winning Marcos Rojo goal by giving Nigerian fans the middle finger.
It’s a terrible look, and he’s trash for doing it. This GIF sums it up:
Who wants to subscribe to the Diego Maradona channel because I do. pic.twitter.com/291d3RiqgW
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) June 26, 2018
He’s also mouthing ‘puto’, which is an insulting term meaning ‘homosexual’, ‘slut’ or ‘coward’ depending on who you ask. Basically, it’s not lekker.
Now all of that you would have seen on TV last night, but then there are these.
This one is actually scary and worrying, and looks like it might have been filmed before kick-off. The man is unable to function, or string a sentence together:
Oye Maradona… pic.twitter.com/t4VLbjPf7a
— emilioelmago (@emilioelmago) June 26, 2018
Look at the state of him.
Then there’s this one, where he needs help walking and looks on the verge of collapse:
— Tutti Convocati (@tutticonvocati) June 26, 2018
At least he did get some medical attention:
Sky News carry this report:
Some reports suggested Maradona had been taken to hospital, but Argentinian newspaper La Nacion said he was treated for low blood pressure at the stadium and left shortly afterwards.
Low blood pressure, you say?
I feel for Nigerian fans this morning, who aren’t just raging at Diego flipping them the bird. They will feel they deserved a second penalty, and given what we saw in the Iran – Portugal match the night before, they might have a point:
Nigeria’s claim for penalty against Rojo’s handball which looks unintentional pic.twitter.com/lLJeWSi2dz
— Nabeel Hashmi (@iNabeelHashmi) June 26, 2018
John Obi Mikel certainly thought so, as Sport24 reports:
“I don’t understand how that was not a penalty,” captain John Obi Mikel said.
“It was a clear handball. If you look at this game yesterday against Portugal, this was even worse.”
Mikel was referring to Iran’s late penalty against Portugal in a 1-1 draw on Monday – awarded for a handball after a video review – and he felt Rojo got away with it. Rojo went on to score Argentina’s late winner to send his side through, and put Nigeria out.
“He (Rojo) had the ball and it hit his hand and it was open. Maybe the referee didn’t want to give a second penalty,” Mikel said.
“For us, we’ve seen the replay, it was a clear handball. He looked at the VAR, the ball hit the hand.”
Mikel added: “I asked him for explanation, did the ball hit the hand? He said ‘Yes.” Why is it not a penalty? He did not know.”
One man who will be chuffed is Lionel Messi, who scored a great goal and, for once, didn’t have to come up with the goods by himself.
Marcos Rojo scored the late winner, and the images of Messi piggybacking a ride were rather symbolic for many:
Perhaps the whole night was summed up best by Cesc Fabregas:
Maradona claims to be off the cocaine, but last night’s performance shows that he is still a complete trainwreck.
I guess we all love watching the wheels come off, don’t we?
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