My first tryst with football – the televised version – came during Italia ’90, where the football was dour, but the charisma and magnetic pull of Diego Maradona left me forever hooked to the beautiful game.

That July 1990, a beaten and trodden Argentine captain — by the tough-tackling West Germans — had left a skinny kid with no discernible football skills in the football heartland of India teary-eyed and heartbroken.

He was the unwavering leader of his men, commanding a cult-like devotion from his team-mates and fans – all transfixed in a trance by his mastery over a football. Vanquished on the night, despair in his eyes, he still was our hero.

Obituary: Argentine football genius Maradona saw heaven and hell


His crowning glory, however, came four years earlier in Mexico, where he played every minute of every game to lead his country to its second World Cup glory….

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