Diego Armando Maradona at Barcelona. The story, brief and as convulsive as it is dotted with sublime moments, started on June 4, 1982, more than 38 years ago, with his official signature by the Barça club, who paid for him then an exorbitant figure of 8.1 million dollars, something never seen in football and that gave way to two unforgettable years.
Maradona was in the orbit of Barça for almost four years before But the indecision first, when he was just a youth, and the AFA’s refusal later, in 1980, to allow him to leave Argentina delayed a signing that the club could not carry out until that summer, haggling all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles that They even caused the Spanish government, through the General Directorate of Foreign Transactions of the Ministry of Commerce, to threaten to deny authorization for payment in foreign currency, estimated at almost five million dollars to be divided in the six years that were specified the initial contract.
Maradona played barely two years at Barça. Two seasons that were sportingly marked by hepatitis and a fracture in the left ankle that penalized their success although, not at all, they hid the impact he had on the Camp Nou, from the locker room to the stands, where his figure had no discussion.
Remembering Maradona recalls the serious injury suffered in September 1983 by a criminal entry to his ankle in Goicoechea, puts on the plane the hepatitis he suffered in his first season and causes people to talk about his problems with drugs that, it is said, began in Barcelona. But it also illuminates Sublime moments: an unforgettable goal at the Bernabéu, the 1983 Cup final played in Zaragoza precisely on June 4, a supernatural performance, with an anthological goal, in Belgrade against the Red Star.
When satellite dishes and soccer did not exist, it still had to be explained through the eyes of the fan or the journalist who came to the stadium, the figure of Diego in Barcelona represented a ray of spectacularity that, with all the differences between the two, It evoked the best Cruyff and motivates that almost four decades later his figure deserved a recognition that has been an incomprehensible oblivion.
Titles? Few, just one King’s Cup and one League Cup. His first season, closed with that Cup final, was marked by hepatitis that was diagnosed in December 1982 and kept him out of the fields until March of the following year.
The second began with an exhibition in Magdeburg, continued with the very serious ankle injury caused by Goicoechea that left him KO for about four months, continued with his departure from the board and ended after a tour of the United States while his transfer to Napoli was being negotiated, days after an embarrassing Cup final against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabéu that ended with a pitched battle on the stadium lawn.
38 goals in 58 official matches is the statistical summary of his history at Barça, before becoming a D10S dressed in light blue with Napoli and reaching eternity with the national team at the 1986 World Cup. By then, in Barcelona, there were those who did not understand who and why he was not able to turn Maradona into a legend at the Camp Nou.