There are certain sportsmen who connect with the public in a way that no other mortal can. Diego Maradona was one of them. At 60 years old, the football icon has passed away, leading to three days of public mourning in Argentina and a flood of tributes from athletes and celebrities across the globe.
When you think of football style legends, names such as Johan Cruyff — the snake-hipped, cigarette smoking Dutchman who would take to the pitch wearing gold chains — and George Best — famously dubbed the "Fifth Beatle" thanks in part to his mop-top haircut — probably come to mind. El Diego wasn’t about that kind of obvious cool. Maradona's appeal lay in pure brute talent and attitude; the little man in the high-waisted Le Coq Sportif shorts who could demolish teams with physics-defying, corkscrew-like runs. The rock star comparison has become a cliche, but it’s apt (check out his pals). His carefree attitude and joie de vivre marked him out as a one-off. Think Michael Jordan meets Jim Morrison.
Maradona was deeply flawed — the textbook anti-hero — yet that partially explains why he was so loved. In a time when elite footballers live like monks and are media trained to the point of resembling androids, his way of living and off-the-field antics are unthinkable, even romantic. That alcohol and drug-heavy lifestyle would eventually take him too soon, but not before the number 10 had changed the game and its history forever.
It was the ‘80s when Maradona’s achieved deity-like status, first winning the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 (you just might have seen these goals before) in what was as near to a one-man team as possible. After that, he headed for Italy and Naples, where he led Napoli to their only two scudettos in 1987 and 1990 — the former a first for a team from the economically beleaguered south. It was also around this time when Maradona developed a taste for the house of Versace, serving looks that brought new meaning to the word "flamboyant."
Maradona will be forever synonymous with the Argentina stripes and that "Mars" Napoli jersey, but less discussed are his off-pitch looks. Find some of our favorites from the '80s and '90s below.