By turns footballing genius and pantomime villain, Diego Maradona held a mirror up to both the potencies and shortcomings of his native Argentina. When, as a 10-year-old, he was asked in a television interview what his dreams were, he answered that the first was to play in a World Cup and that the second was to win it.
This was what Argentina had been waiting for: the appearance of the mythical "El Pibe de Oro" ("The Golden Kid") who epitomized the country's football. Against England in the 1986 World Cup, he scored a goal of sublime beauty, one that, just as much as his disputed opener, summed up the Latin American game.
Victor Hugo Morales, a Uruguayan who'd taken residence in Argentina, gave one of the greatest commentaries in the history of the game: "Genius! Genius! Genius! Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta...and Gooooooool! Gooooooool! I want to cry! Dear God! Long live football! Golaaaaazoooo! Diegoooool! Maradona! Sorry I want to cry. […] Thank you, God, for football, for Maradona, for these tears."