By: Adam Landstein — Correspondent
Diego Maradona, one of soccer’s greatest and most influential players, passed away last month from a heart attack.
Despite being controversial off the field, Maradona’s lasting legacy, starting off as an Argentinian youth player, playing for big clubs like Napoli and Barcelona, and eventually earning national team caps for Argentina, has cemented itself in history books.
“Winning the World cup after the Hand of God against England, changed the whole game, an unforgettable moment right there,” says Sharon High School junior Karthik Shankar, an avid follower of soccer and former player. He says that Maradona’s greatest accomplishment was winning the World Cup in 1986.
Speaking on Maradona’s legacy, Shankar says “he’s changed the whole game pretty much. He influenced a lot of professional players. Messi said himself that he styled his play based on Maradona.”
“You see the way he warmed up, just jumping around and enjoying the game, and everything he did, everyone loved,” says Sharon High School junior James Zhang, captain of the Sharon Boys Soccer Team.
Zhang says Maradona was a very passionate ambassador of the game. “Maradona brought a sense of passion for the game that was felt by everyone. Only Ronaldinho may have shown his love for the game as much as Maradona,” he said.
Shankar shared his thoughts on Maradona’s controversial legacy. “Although he was a great player, there were moments like the Hand of God that were controversial. They were definitely not as controversial as his off field moments and as a person,” added Shankar.
“There are two sides to Diego Maradona, there is Diego and then there is also Maradona. Maradona on the field was just a joy to watch all the time. Off the field it was a different story,” said Zhang.
image from guinnessworldrecords.com