Diego Maradona: When the Napoli icon played in a charity match in one of the poorest suburbs


It's impossible to overstate the extent to which Diego Maradona was revered in his native Argentina.

Internacional's match with Boca Juniors was postponed on Wednesday night as the country entered a three-day period of mourning following the tragic news of his passing. 

Maradona died at his home, aged 60, following a cardiac arrest. 

Throughout football, we've been hearing plenty of tributes epitomising what an extraordinary player the Argentine was. Many would go so far as to describe him as the greatest of all time. 

Yet there have also been outpourings of love for Maradona the man. Earlier this year, he broke down in tears in an appeal for food to help those affected by the pandemic. 

It's emerging that the football icon was immensely charitable and one brilliant story doing the rounds just sums up how keen he was to help those less fortunate. 

In 1984, the Napoli superstar agreed to take part in a charity match in one of the city's poorest suburbs. The game was being held to raise money for a child in need of expensive medical care. 

While Napoli, who had recently signed him from Barcelona, were anxious about him getting injured - and, so the story goes, Maradona therefore agreed to pay for his own insurance. 

Footage shows him training in the car park before going out and battling for 90 minutes. The clips can be seen below: 

Just look at that pitch! He ended the game covered in mud, having given it his all and thoroughly entertained the locals all in a good cause. Thousands of fans attended due to his presence. 

Maradona once said that “if I was in a white dress at a wedding and a muddy ball arrived... I would stop it from the chest, without thinking about it”. His connection with a muddy football was unparalleled. 

So as football remembers some of his exploits in the professional game, it's also worth remembering his charitable efforts off the pitch. 

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