Posted on 24 Jun 2010 at 15:13 PM by Mr. Ed
I am delighted that Crazy Diego has lived up to all my pre-tournament hype, already providing us with several WTF?!? moments. Here is a countdown of the top 5 wackiest Maradona moments so far.
5. Trend Setter
Here we see Diego decked out in full Goodfella's costume with the mafia-esque suit, diamond ear-rings and clutching his now trademark rosary beads. All looks dapper enough, but look a little bit closer and you can see the real fashion statement here: he is wearing two watches.
For once there is actually some degree of method in Maradona's madness. It appears he has always had a bit of bother getting to grip with different time zones, and thus whenever he is abroad he wears one watch set to local time and one set to Argentinian time. Maradona is, quite literally, ahead of his time when it comes to fashion.
4. Diva Diego
In a move that even Mariah Carey would be proud of, Maradona made several outlandish demands of the hotel that the Argentina team are staying in. Now I am no expert on the dietary requirements of a modern footballer, but demanding 14 different types of salad to be served with every meal seems a bit excessive to me. Hell, I had no idea that there even were 14 different types of salad. In addition to this, Diego made sure that ice cream would be available 24 hours a day. Presumably this is just for him.
As a natural follow up to the food demands, Maradona then went on to make sure the toilet arrangements were up to his impeccable standards. He made the hotel install new toilet seats in all the rooms, and not just any old toilet seats, as reported by the Telegraph;
'The E-Bidet features a heated seat, a warm air blow-dryer and front and rear bidet wands. It sells for 450 dollars (358 euros) at online retailer sandman.com, which bills it as "the world's best toilet seat".
Well if your gonna snort coke off a toilet seat, you might just as well snort coke off the best toilet seat money can buy.
3. Not gay, honest!
Following the Argies emphatic 4-1 win over South Korea, a journalist enquired why Maradona was always so affectionate with his players. What followed was an ever-so-slightly homophobic response that in anybody else's case would have seemed as over-compensating. "Well I still prefer women. I am dating Veronica who is blond and 31-years-old. No I have not gone limp wristed." Methinks the lady doth protest too much. (Not really, Diego is clearly the prototypical red-blooded male if ever there was one).
2. Firing Squad
While most World Cup squads look pensive and tightly-wound in their pre-tournament training sessions, Maradona found a delightfully masochistic way to relieve the tension in the Argentina camp. Fair play to him though, he did take his place in the bent-over firing line, providing the closest visual metaphor possible for the old 'hit a cow's backside with a banjo' saying. I assume Maradona only felt comfortable with this training method because he had already made sure that any bruised behinds would be soothed by the world's most expensive toilet seats.
1. Maradona's Kryptonite
Like all superhuman beings, Maradona has one weakness. Rather stupidly, he decided to announce this one weakness to the world. In a typically muddled display of bravado following Argentina's win over Nigeria, Diego declared; "I have never been afraid of anything or anyone, unless they are wearing a mask."
I hope that all of Argentina's future opponents have taken this information on board and will shape their match plans accordingly. In fact, no team is better equipped for this than Argentina's secound round opponents Mexico, who I fully expect to come out for the warm-ups in full Nacho-Libre Mexican wrestling attire.
This also explains one of Diego's seemingly bizarre selection choices that puzzled me before the tournament, playing Jonas Gutierrez at right-back. It now seems painfully obvious that Maradona is picking Gutierriez for one simple reason, he is sh*t-scared of him:
Maradona has already lived up to expectations and we are only 2 weeks into the tournament. I also have to believe that as the stakes get higher the antics will only get crazier, which really does mean there will be some jaw-dropping displays of insanity to come.
Whatever you say about the man, however, you have to give him credit for what he has done so far in this tournament. The madness has only further endeared him to his players, and this free-kick shows that he's still as skilful as anyone out there (even more impressive when you consider that it is the only good free kick we've seen all tournament).
So... if Argentina have been inspired by an incredibly-talented, incredibly-mental former star player with a history of substance abuse why can't it work for us? Gazza for England!