28th March 2005

After a long silence, Diego is back on the stage

Marina Zucchi (reporter of Clarín) giornalista@ubbi.com


When next April 3rd the Bombonera stadium shines with fireworks, chants, tears and nostalgia, Diego Maradona will be one of the actors of the fiesta. The centenary of the club will certainly be big news in the world and, during the celebrations, Maradona will bring the “Antorcha Xeneize” (=the torch of Boca) like at the Olympic Games.
Diego fights to be happy and sometimes it looks like he can make it: of course, his happiness is not complete, but it is rather made up of happy moments, many of which connected to what he could do best: playing football.
The last months have been for Diego Maradona full of activity: the number 10 left the Cuban peace to go back to Argentina and be once again on the front pages of all newspapers and magazines.
In his busy agenda there are an operation to lose weight, many proposals to resume training a football team and the so much waited centenary of Boca Juniors, which will feature him as one of the main actors.
One of the most important news of the last weeks was certainly the surgery operation he underwent with the goal to lose weight. After some denials and unofficial confirmations, “Pelusa” was operated in Cartagena, Colombia. And what impressed most was the declaration of the doctors who said that he should reach a 75kg weight in just one year.
At the time of the operation, Diego weighed 110 kg, and the doctors were already talking of 12 less, a notable amount taking into account that his recovery will be slow and continuous.
But more than kilograms and years, Diego still gives a lot to talk for his explosive interviews, as explosive as those magic plays that could humiliate any rival on a football field. It seems strange, but after 15 years there was a new discussion regarding the famous adulterated bottle which the Argentina team gave to the Brazilian player Branco in the match of Italia 90 World Cup.
The same Diego, invited to a tv show, admitted that Branco drank from the bottle and felt sick afterwards, causing the anger of Brazilians against the former Argentina coach Carlos Bilardo and the same Maradona.
The anger today is so high that it seems that in Brazil, during the Holy Week, Judas was represented by a puppet with the face of Maradona. And 10,000 people destroyed that 4 metre high statue.
On the other side, those who loved him with no conditions were the Colombians who, proud of his visit, gave him the key of the city of Cartagena. According to his good mood, Diego said that “I don't even have the keys for my apartment... and you give me the one of Cartagena”.
However what made “Pelusa” really happy was the idea promoted by Mauricio Macri, president of Boca, who talked with his ex wife to give him a chance to work in the youth teams of the club. This job would be a real challenge for Diego and hopefully the recipe for a new internal recovery that could return him back to the world of football.
In the meanwhile, Maradona still inspires ideas and tributes. At Boca Juniors they promise that on his next birthday (October 30th), a new movie named “Amando a Maradona” will be presented. It is clear that the love of his fans has no frontiers and does not fade with time. Even though the books remind us that Diego left football almost eight years ago...