The entire globe came to a standstill after news broke regarding the death of footballing icon Diego Maradona earlier this evening.
Despite being one of the most notorious footballers around, Diego Maradona captured the world mainly through his scintillating performances on the field of play.
South Africa did eventually get a first-hand taste of the Argentinian legend in 2010 after Diego Maradona was tasked to manage the La Albiceleste at Africa’s maiden World Cup, and the legend didn’t disappoint.
His stay in South Africa was short and rather disappointing in terms of football however, not many would forget the madness he consistently dished out in 2010.
Maradona causes a stir before arriving in South Africa
Prior to arriving in South Africa for the Fifa World Cup which kicked off in June 2010, Diego Maradona made incredible demands leaving South Africa in shock.
Argentina were based in Pretoria at the TUKS High Performance Center however the state of the art facilities unfortunately didn’t meet the legend’s requirements.
Maradona demanded that luxury heated toilet seats be installed at the center while all rooms were to be painted in white. He further went on demand that ice-cream be made available throughout the day as well as extra dessert options be made available at meal times.
“Other requests including a demand for rooms to be painted white, and for six Playstations to be installed for players to use during their free time.” Maradona’s 2010 demands as per Dailymail.
“The Argentinian FA also demanded 10 hot dishes be served every day alongside no less than 14 different salads at every meal. Every dinner must include at least three pasta sauces and no fewer than three desserts.
“The team also demanded South African braai at least once every three days and requested that ice cream be made available at all times throughout their stay.”
Pretoria training madness
During a training session at the TUKS high performance center, Maradona punished the losing training squad of a mini-match which included the likes of Sergio Aguero and Veron by making them line up in the goal and have the ball pelted at them.
The other side of Maradona
South Africa did eventually get to see a different side to Maradona when he was almost left in tears after visiting disadvantaged Pretoria school Kgotlelelang Primary School.
“I have received many welcomes in my football career across the world, but the warmth you have shown me will make me not to forget this day in my lifetime. With each kiss and every hug, I felt I had a friend, so this is not our last visit to your area as we are still coming back during the FIFA World Cup.” – Maradona said at the GaRankuwa school in 2010.
Diego Maradona will arguably go down as one of the best, if not thee best, footballers to ever play the game.