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Soccer legend Diego Maradona Dies at Age 60
Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona, considered among the greatest players in the history of the sport, died
at the age of 60 on Nov. 25.
His spokesperson told the press that the player, who wowed the world as a club player and helped lead his home
nation to a World Cup title, had died of a heart attack. It happened three weeks after he underwent brain surgery.
News of his passing shocked the world. The president of Argentina declared that the country would have three days
of mourning for the national hero, while many more expressed their sorrow over his death.
Born in the city of Lanus in 1960, Maradona grew up in a shantytown. He developed his soccer skills on the streets
and became a professional at age 15. After successful stints at domestic clubs, Maradona established himself as one of
the international superstars of club soccer after transferring to Barcelona and Napoli, among others.
His most legendary moments, though, came as a player for the Argentine national team, nicknamed La Albiceleste
— the white and sky blues.
Most notably, Maradona played a central role in leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup final. The two biggest
moments of his career came in the quarterfinals of that tournament against England. Maradona scored one of the
most controversial goals in soccer history, when he punched the ball into the net but wasn’t called for a handball.
Dubbed the “Hand of God,” the play angered supporters of England.
Moments after that infamous goal, however, Maradona scored what many consider to be the greatest goal in soccer
history. He dribbled the ball 70 yards down the pitch, evading English players, before scoring himself.
Argentina won the 1986 World Cup after defeating West Germany in the championship game.
While his career was celebrated, Maradona wrestled with personal problems throughout his life. He frequently used
cocaine and other drugs, to the point where he was tossed out of the 1994 World Cup for abusing illegal substances.
He sought medical attention over the years, and even went to a rehabilitation center in Cuba to try to get clean.
In 2010, Maradona coached the Argentine national team, though the squad was eliminated by Germany in the
Current soccer players expressed deep sadness over Maradona’s death. Players such as Lionel Messi shared
their grief, as did teams from all over the globe.
Argentinians took to the street to express their sorrow over the legend’s passing.
In Japan, Maradona’s death attracted a lot of attention. He had played matches in Japan over the course of his
career, and nearly signed a deal to play with Nagoya Grampus in the first year of the J League. A positive drug
test, however, derailed that.
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Key Words and Expressions
- wow — to make someone impressed to a great degree
- mourn — the conventional manifestation of sorrow for a person’s death
- shantytown — an area in which poor people live in small, cheaply built houses
- stint — a particular job or activity conducted in a certain period
- controversial — something that causes people to get upset and argue
- handball — a foul by which a player’s hand or arm touches the ball
- dribble — to move a ball along the ground with repeated small kicks
- abuse — to use something improperly in a way that is harmful or morally wrong
- rehabilitation — the process of returning to a positive condition
- derail — to prevent something from continuing as planned
Reading Comprehension Test
- How did Diego Maradona die?
a. He died during brain surgery.
b. He died of a drug overdose.
c. He died of a heart attack.
d. He died while playing soccer.
- Why was Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal controversial?
a. He scored it after being offsides.
b. He scored it while under the influence of drugs.
c. He scored it with his hand.
d. He scored it while out of bounds.
- Which of the following is true?
a. Maradona played many matches in Japan.
b. Maradona owned Nagoya Grampus.
c. Maradona played for Nagoya Grampus.
d. Maradona appeared in the J. League.
- How did people react to Maradona’s passing?
- Why was Maradona kicked out of the 1994 World Cup?