A Little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God. A defining moment in a game of football and a moment of recollection to refer to the Legend, a genius of the winner, the unstoppable force who goes by the name Diego Armando Maradona. You have lived a life less ordinary my icon!
I grew up having known to play football on the streets and corners of Viewland Ukhrul with my childhood friends in the 80s. I moderately remember introduced to my icon in the 1986 World Cup Football or so when my Dad brought a TV home and was deeply motivated towards playing football more after watching it on the Television. After which whenever I had that rounded plastic ball on my feet, I epitomise myself as another Maradona playing the game in Viewland along my friends. The person who most wanted when Diego was on the field to win every time could have been perhaps me, and as the match progressed all the other 21 players would somehow leave my mind.
Obituary messages and articles are coming in with references to his ups and downs in his life but I rather recall of what he did in the football field and that reminisce me of my Love for the game and is still in awe of many. He was the one football star I grew up watching him play the game to my every liking and I always believed that he would do something different and win the match for the team. He is the reason, why I always root for Argentina in every major trophy and keeps track of the team every now and then.
As a Coach of the beautiful game now, following the role played by my icon, I have always liked the attacking midfield position and always look forward to shaping players particularly in that area and it is a joy to do sessions on them. The vision, the touch and the ball control Diego had when he was on the field, what an epitome he made of himself in the generations to come! and which will be always the area of strength for any team to possess when playing against an opponent.
Maradona grew up being impoverished but poverty was never a deterrent to success and I relate this to my players every now and then, also of how Diego when he was 3 goes to sleep with a football in his hands for the love of the game.
Maradona was always the difference when he set foot on the football field and his team took to more courage and confidence playing alongside him. He is acknowledged as one of the best football players known to mankind and will always remain the best for me.
Well Diego, You have played the full 90 minutes and won it! Adios Diego!
Shangreithem Chiphang is an AIFF certified Football Coach running A Team Football Academy in Mumbai and Coaching the U16, U14 and U12 football team of Infant Jesus School and Don Bosco school Mumbai in the MDFA 1st division and 4th division league. Academically MA in Sociology and an ardent follower of Manchester United and looking forward to setting up a Football academy in Ukhrul too.