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Diego Maradona Career Stats: Total Career Analysis 1976-1997

Diego Maradona Career Stats: Diego Armando Maradona passed away on November 25, 2020, and his death was deeply impacted football fans worldwide. He was a legendary figure who constantly captured public attention, both for his positive and negative actions.

Maradona always stayed true to himself, never pretending to be someone he wasn’t, and people admired him for that. He embodied the complexities of human nature, displaying both beauty and flaws.

The city of Naples will mourn Maradona’s loss for a long time, as he held a special place in the hearts of the Neapolitan people. In Argentina, his memory will be immortalized in “La Bombonera” and throughout the country.

Maradona will never be forgotten because legends never truly die. He is considered by millions to be the greatest player in football history and was chosen as the player of the twentieth century by the fans. This is the remarkable career of Diego Maradona in the world of legends.

Early Life

Diego Maradona grew up in a crowded and dangerous slum. However, a soccer ball he received as a gift on his third birthday would become his ticket out of extreme poverty. Even though his mother initially didn’t approve of his passion for football, she eventually realized that it was her son’s calling.

By the age of ten, Diego displayed incredible skills that surpassed those of other children. He had exceptional dribbling, precise and powerful passes, and remarkable footwork. His talent quickly caught the attention of the media, and Francisco Cornejo, a coach from a youth club Argentinos Juniors, couldn’t believe how young Diego was and asked for his birth certificate.

Maradona led his team to victory in 136 consecutive matches and mesmerized fans with his extraordinary performances. The press took notice and dubbed him as a child with the talent of a star. At the age of twelve, during a television interview, he said the following:

I have two dreams: to play in the World Cup and to win it with Argentina.

Maradona

Maradona Career Statistics At Argentinos Juniors (1976–1981)

A few days before turning sixteen, Maradona signed his first professional contract with Argentinos Juniors’ first team. He played his first official match on October 20, 1976, and after 25 days, he scored his first goals against San Lorenzo in the Argentine league. From then on, he consistently scored goals and became the top scorer for his team in all the seasons he played with them.

Division (Year)AppsGoals
Argentine Primera División 1976112
Argentine Primera División 19774919
Argentine Primera División 19783526
Argentine Primera División 19792626
Argentine Primera División 19804543

Even though Maradona was extremely talented, the Argentine coach Luis Menotti didn’t invite him to join the national team for the 1978 World Cup because he was still young. After the tournament, in which Argentina won on home soil, Menotti started preparing another team to compete in the upcoming World Youth Cup in Japan.

During his time with Argentinos Juniors, Maradona played 166 matches and scored 116 goals.

Maradona Career Statistics At Boca Juniors (1981–1982)

During the summer of 1980, Maradona received several offers from different clubs. One of the notable offers came from River Plate, who offered a large sum of money to sign the talented player, even though his full potential had not yet been revealed. However, Maradona had a different preference and chose to join Boca Juniors instead. Boca Juniors was facing financial difficulties at that time.

Division (Year)AppsGoals
Argentine Primera División 19814028

On February 20, 1981, Maradona officially signed with Boca Juniors. Despite spending only one season with the team, he played a crucial role in helping them win the Argentine league. He shone in every match, scoring 28 goals, including a brace against their arch-rivals, River Plate.

Maradona’s exceptional performance caught the attention of Barcelona, who made a record-breaking offer of 5 million pounds sterling to acquire his services. The deal was successfully completed, and Maradona moved to Europe to begin a journey filled with both joy and sorrow.


CompetitionYear
Argentine Primera División1981 Metropolitano

Maradona Career Statistics At Barcelona (1982–1984)

Maradona played his first official match for Barcelona on September 4, 1982, against Valencia. Despite scoring a goal, Barcelona lost 1-2. However, after playing 13 matches and scoring 6 goals, Maradona was diagnosed with hepatitis and had to rest for three months. He made his comeback in March, but Barcelona was no longer in contention for the Spanish league and finished in fourth place. However, the club won the King’s Cup by defeating Real Madrid in the final.

CompetitionAppGoalsAssists
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (-1999)785
La Liga362213
Copa DE La Liga (-1986)641
Copa Del Rey941
TOTAL58 3820

Shortly after, Maradona returned to play in the Spanish League Cup final against Real Madrid. In the first leg in Madrid, he scored a magnificent goal that earned him applause from the Santiago Bernabeu fans, becoming the first player in history to receive such an honor. He then led Barcelona to win the title over the two legs.

The 1983/1984 season started poorly for Maradona as he suffered a serious ankle injury due to a rough tackle from Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Goikotxea. He underwent surgery and was sidelined for over three months. Barcelona didn’t win any championships that season, but Maradona helped them reach the King’s Cup final against Bilbao. However, this would mark the end of Maradona’s journey with Barcelona.

Athletic Bilbao won the final 1-0. When the match ended, Maradona attacked Miguel Angel Sola, a player from the opposing team who had provoked him throughout the game. Maradona also got involved with other players from Bilbao, turning the stadium into a battlefield. The Spanish King Juan Carlos and millions of viewers watched the match on television. As a result, Barcelona officials decided to end their relationship with Maradona, especially after he received a long suspension.


CompetitionYear
Copa del Rey1982–83
Copa de la Liga1983

Maradona Career Statistics At Napoli (1984–1991)

Diego Maradona joined Napoli for a record fee in 1984. The fans were thrilled to have him and over 75,000 supporters welcomed him at the stadium. They saw him as their savior after narrowly avoiding relegation the previous season. However, Napoli’s journey with Maradona was filled with ups and downs.

CompetitionAppGoalsAssists
European Champion Clubs’ Cup62
UEFA-Cup (- 2009)1938
Serie A1878146
Supercoppa Italuana11
Italy Cup442913
TOTAL257 11568

Maradona scored his first goal for Napoli in September 1984. He had a successful first season, scoring 14 goals, but the team finished eighth in the league. Despite this, Napoli’s performance improved, and they realized they could compete for the league title. They signed new players, including Bruno Giordano, and finished third in the 1985/1986 season, earning a spot in the UEFA Cup.

After Maradona’s return from the 1986 World Cup, the fans believed they had the best player in the world. Their hopes were fulfilled as Napoli won their first-ever Italian League title. The city celebrated for a week, and Napoli defeated the rich northern clubs Inter, Milan, and Juventus. Despite their success, Maradona stayed committed to Napoli and renewed his contract until 1993.

The following season, Napoli couldn’t defend their title and finished second, losing to Milan by 3 points. They also couldn’t reclaim the title the next season as Inter Milan won it. However, Napoli compensated for these failures by winning the UEFA Cup, with Maradona playing a key role. In the 1989/1990 season, Napoli won the Italian League for the second time, with Maradona scoring 16 goals.

Maradona’s time at Napoli started to decline after the 1990 World Cup. In 1991, he was suspended for using steroids, marking the beginning of the end. After serving his suspension, Maradona decided to leave Napoli, ending their golden age. The club honored him by retiring the number 10 shirt and naming their stadium after him in late 2020, following his death. His last goal for Napoli came against Sampdoria on March 24, 1991.


CompetitionYear
Serie A1986–87, 1989–90
Coppa Italia1986–87
Supercoppa Italiana1990
UEFA Cup1988–89

Maradona Career Statistics At Sevilla (1992–1993)

Maradona wanted to join a team that didn’t have high expectations for success, so he chose Sevilla. The transfer fee was around 4 million pounds. He was introduced to the fans on September 28, 1992, during a friendly match against Bayern Munich. His first official match for Sevilla was on October 4 against Athletic Bilbao, the same team he faced in his last game for Barcelona.

CompetitionAppGoalsAssists
La Liga2654
Copa Del Rey322
TOTAL2976

Just three days later, Maradona scored his first goal for Sevilla against Real Zaragoza, securing a victory for the team. However, when he was called up to play for the Argentine national team, the Sevilla officials threatened to fine him if he went. Maradona decided to join the national team despite the threats, which caused further problems between him and the club leaders. Additionally, he suffered a new injury that hastened his departure from the club after just one season.

Maradona Career Statistics At Newell’s Old Boys (1993–1994)

In 1993, Maradona decided to return to Argentina and joined Newell’s Old Boys. His first training session with the team attracted approximately 40,000 spectators. However, his stay with the club was short-lived, as he left the following year. Maradona faced a suspension of 15 months due to his use of a significant amount of steroids once again.

Division (Year)AppsGoals
Argentine Primera División 1993–9450

During this period of suspension, Maradona played a role in founding the World Federation of Football Players in Paris. He collaborated with other prominent players like Eric Cantona, George Weah, Gianfranco Zola, and more in establishing this organization.

Maradona Career Statistics At Boca Juniors (1995–1997)

Maradona had a strong desire to return and play for his beloved club, Boca Juniors. He managed to make it happen, although he didn’t play many matches due to his difficult physical condition. In order to receive treatment for his cocaine addiction, Maradona had to travel to a clinic in Switzerland. Despite his return to Buenos Aires, he couldn’t fully recover his physical fitness, and his last professional match took place on October 25, 1997, against River Plate.

Division (Year)AppsGoals
Argentine Primera División 1995–96245
Argentine Primera División 1996–9720
Argentine Primera División 1997–9852
TOTAL317

Shortly after his thirty-seventh birthday, Maradona announced his retirement from football. He then engaged in commercial ventures and worked as a television commentator. He also became an honorary guest at various sporting events and activities. However, he continued to struggle with drug addiction and underwent several successful rehabilitation operations. According to his doctor, his addiction almost cost him his life. Maradona openly admitted his addiction in his autobiography, titled “I’m Diego.”

On November 10, 2001, a farewell ceremony was held for Maradona at La Bombonera Stadium, the home ground of Boca Juniors. The event featured a friendly match between the national team and a team of world stars, including renowned players such as Juan Riquelme, Eric Cantona, Enzo Francescoli, Carlos Valderrama, Davor Suker, and others. Following the match, Maradona delivered an emotional speech that moved many to tears.

Diego Maradona’s Career Stats With Argentine National Team

After making his mark in the league, Maradona earned his first call-up to the Argentine national team. However, despite his brilliance with Argentinos Juniors and being the top scorer in the league, he was not included in the final squad for the 1978 World Cup, as he was still young at that time.

CompetitionAppsGoalsAssists
International Friendlies42179
World Cup2188
Copa América1241
World Cup Qualification832
Artemio Franchi Trophy1
TOTAL843220

In the following year, coach Luis Menotti gave Maradona a chance to participate in some friendly matches as preparation for the World Youth Cup, which was held in the summer.


CompetitionYear
FIFA World Cup1986
Artemio Franchi Cup1993

1986 World Cup

Maradona faced criticism from the Argentine public due to his poor performance and expulsion in the match against Brazil. As a result, he stayed away from the national team for three years, having disagreements with coach Carlos Bilardo. Their differences were finally resolved in 1985 when Maradona was called up to play a friendly match against Uruguay, which ended in a 1-1 draw with Maradona scoring the goal. He continued to lead Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers, but there was not much enthusiasm in the country due to their underwhelming performances.

In the semi-finals of the World Cup, Argentina faced Belgium. The match was relatively easier for Argentina, and they won with two goals from Maradona, one of which was particularly impressive. This victory secured their place in the final against West Germany, which took place on June 29 at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The final started well for Argentina as they scored two goals through Juan Brown and Valdano. However, the Germans managed to equalize through Rummenigge and Rudi Völler. Just three minutes after the German goal, Maradona showcased his skills by deceiving the German defense and providing an assist to Jorge Burruchaga, who scored the winning goal. Argentina celebrated their second World Cup victory, with Maradona as the captain, leading the team to success.

Maradona’s performance in the 1986 World Cup was remarkable. He scored 5 goals, provided 5 assists, and completed 90 successful dribbles, three times more than any other player. His exceptional performance earned him the Golden Ball award for the best player in the tournament. Many consider Maradona to have almost single-handedly led Argentina to victory and delivered one of the greatest individual performances in the history of major tournaments.

1990 World Cup

After the 1986 World Cup, the performance of the Argentine national team declined, while Maradona continued to experience success with Napoli. However, Argentina failed to win either of the two Copa America tournaments, and Maradona entered the 1990 World Cup with an ankle injury that affected his performance that year. Nevertheless, he played every minute of the tournament.

The tournament took place in Italy, where Maradona had enjoyed his best days with Napoli. The defending champions started with a loss against Cameroon (0-1) and almost didn’t make it past the group stage if it weren’t for a 2-0 victory over the Soviet Union and a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Romania. They advanced to the knockout stage as the third-best team in their group.

In the round of 16, Argentina faced Brazil, and Maradona provided an assist to Claudio Caniggia in the 80th minute, resulting in a 1-0 victory for Argentina. In the quarter-finals, they faced Yugoslavia, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes. Maradona missed a penalty kick, but his teammates helped secure a 3-2 win.

In the semi-finals, Argentina faced Italy at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. Maradona, who was revered in Naples for leading Napoli to success, made a statement about the Neapolitans’ sense of identity. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, and Argentina won the penalty shootout 4-3. Maradona was deeply moved by the support he received from the Italian fans.

The final match of the 1990 World Cup took place on July 8 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, where Argentina faced West Germany. It was a disappointing final for the Argentines, as they lost 0-1 due to a controversial penalty kick in the 85th minute scored by Andreas Brehme. After the final whistle, the Germans celebrated their victory, while Maradona, considered the best player in the world, was left in tears, realizing that his body and talent had let him down that night.

Individual Awards:

YearHonors
1978Argentine Primera División top scorer (Metropolitano)
1979Argentine Primera División top scorer (Metropolitano), FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball,
FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe, Olimpia de Oro, Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year,
Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year,
El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year, Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1980Argentine Primera División top scorer (Metropolitano), El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year,
El Gráfico Footballer of the Americas, Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1981Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year, El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year,
Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1982Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1983Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1984Eric Batty’s World XI
1985Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year,
Guerin d’Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year), Onze de Onze, Guerin Sportivo World All-star Team
1986Olimpia de Oro, Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year, Argentine Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year,
El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup Most Assists,
L’Équipe Champion of Champions, La Gazzetta dello Sport Athlete of the Year, Agence France-Presse Athlete of the Year,
Associated Press Athlete of the Year, Corriere dello Sport Athlete of the Year, Onze d’Or
1987Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year, Onze de Onze, La Gazzetta dello Sport Footballer of the Year,
Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer), Coppa Italia top scorer
1988La Gazzetta dello Sport Footballer of the Year
1989El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year, UNICEF European Footballer of the Season
1990FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball
1992El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year
1993El País Ideal Team of the Americas
1994FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
1995Ballon d’Or for services to football, El Mundo South American Footballer of the Year,
La Gazzetta dello Sport Footballer of the Year
1998World Team of the 20th Century
1999Argentine Sports Writers’ Sportsman of the Century, Marca Leyenda.
World Soccer magazine’s Greatest Players of the 20th century (#2),
2000Number 10 retired by Napoli football team, FIFA Player of the Century
2002FIFA Goal of the Century (for his second goal against England in 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final),
FIFA World Cup Dream Team
2003Golden Foot as football legend
2004FIFA 100 Greatest Living Players
2010Greatest Footballers in World Cup History: No. 1, by The Times
2012Best Athlete in History: No. 1, by Corriere dello Sport – Stadio,
Player of the 20th Century, by Globe Soccer Awards
2013World Soccer magazine’s Greatest XI of All Time
2014Italian Football Hall of Fame
2015AFA Team of All Time
2017Greatest Football Players of All-Time: No. 1 by FourFourTwo magazine
2018Greatest Football Players in World Cup History: No. 1, by FourFourTwo magazine
2020Ballon d’Or Dream Team
2021IFFHS All-time Men’s Dream Team, IFFHS South America Men’s Team of All Time

Retirement

“And the final whistle blows, marking the end of an era for Diego Armando Maradona with the Argentine national team. It’s a bittersweet moment, as we bid farewell to a true football legend. Throughout his career, Maradona has left an indelible mark on the game, captivating fans around the world with his skill, passion, and undeniable talent.

Today, we witnessed the last chapter in his international journey. Although it may not be the fairytale ending we had hoped for, let us remember the countless moments of brilliance he has provided us over the years. Diego Armando Maradona, thank you for the memories.”

Diego Maradona Skills

Maradona was a remarkable playmaker, known for wearing the iconic number 10 jersey. Despite his small stature at 170 cm, he possessed incredible strength and resilience, allowing him to withstand the intense pressure from defenders. He had a magnetic connection with the ball, seemingly glued to his feet as he maneuvered across the field.

Maradona’s imagination and tactical intelligence were second to none, and his determination to win was unwavering. He was not only an offensive threat but also contributed defensively. He had a vast repertoire of scoring techniques, and his goal-scoring record speaks for itself, with 62 direct free-kick goals and an impressive 49 out of 52 penalties converted during his career with European teams. Maradona’s versatility and skill made him a force to be reckoned with in all aspects of the game.

Best Quotes on Diego Maradona

“If there’s one person who truly inspired me, it would definitely be Maradona.”

Lionel Messi

“He was the greatest player I have ever witnessed. He performed feats that seemed beyond human capabilities. Even when he didn’t train much, he always remained in top form and was incredibly difficult to stop.

“He single-handedly determined the outcome of matches, elevating average teams like Napoli and Argentina in 1986 to remarkable triumphs. He was a true genius.”

Marcel Desailly

“When he had the ball, it was hard to distinguish where his skill ended and the ball’s influence began.”

Jose Mourinho

The Death of Diego Maradona

On November 25, 2020, the football world was shocked by the news of Diego Armando Maradona’s passing. He was just about to turn 60 years old. The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, declared three days of mourning in the country, and Maradona’s body was placed in the presidential palace for people to pay their respects. Thousands of Argentines came to say goodbye.

In Naples, Italy, where Maradona had a significant impact as a football player, large crowds gathered to mourn him. To honor his memory, the San Paolo stadium was renamed as the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Matches in various tournaments, including the Champions League, Copa Libertadores, and Italian League, held a minute of silence to remember him. Many presidents, important personalities, and football players expressed their condolences for the loss of Diego Maradona.

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