Where Unrest Fights Regret: A Reflection on Maradona

By Kizito Madu

The folly of youth is thinking itself invincible; so the adage of not declaring a man as having lived a happy life until he is on his deathbed still holds true mainly because of youth’s naïveté. Diego Maradona isn’t dead –in fact he’s full of life; recently recorded participating in a street fight after a night out—but he is an old man, and from his own words, he’s much older than his age suggests. In a recent interview with TyC Sports, Diego lamented that if he had not taken drugs, he would be a phenomenal player, adding “However, my daughters know that their old man - even though I am 53 years old - in reality it is as if I am 78 because my life has not been normal. It’s as if I had lived 80 years.”

There are two tragedies in this story: One of lost time and talent in the sense that the best player to ever bully and prance through a football pitch could have somehow been better, and the more funereal allegory of an ancient tragedy; the same characteristics that makes a hero endearing and admirable, become the cause of his downfall. Achilles with pride, Diego and grit. 

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The Chosen Few x Ahmed Mounir

Football fans are known for the seemingly religious devotion with which they support their teams, but a recent a recent project by Egyptian graphic designer Ahmed Mounir takes that notion and runs with it. Selecting a number of the most prominent modern footballers, Mounir depicts them in a way that evokes classic religious symbolism, recalling the way in which Saints are often illustrated and revered. The collection is gorgeous, and was created in anticipation of next year’s Football Film Festival in Paris. Check out the rest of Ahmed’s work here[Posted by Maxi

Predicting the future, one match at a time

Clairvoyants have been trying to predict the future with tarot cards for centuries, but this might be the first deck specifically created with football in mind. Want to know if your team will win a match? Curious as to whether your star striker can handle the pressure? Are you worried the Spirit of Pele might favor another team? If so, check out this deck created by Éramos Tantos Studio, a design firm based in Mexico City. 

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"Great Moments in Football History" by Oz

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Moments in Football

Richard Swarbrick is back. This time he’s taken his work off the screen, literally mending the art of football with the sound that surrounds the beautiful game. On an old record player, naturally. From Zlatan’s bicycle to Higuita’s insanity to Baggio’s disbelief, those legendary moments have been brought into a new light. Check out Richard’s Fantasista project and watch the video here.

World Cup Legends by Neil Stevens

"As the countdown to the World Cup in Brazil 2014 begins, I’ve created a handful of illustrative portraits of the legends of the tournament. These are the players who lit up the world with the performances at football’s biggest stage. 

Here we have Maradona, Bobby Charlton, Pelé, Johan Cruyff, Gary Lineker and Michel Platini.”

This is only volume one. There are more legends coming. If there’s enough interest (nudge nudge), Neil’s going to make these available to purchase. You can find more of his excellent work here. [Posted by Eric]

What we’re reading this week

We’re always freshly squeezing plenty of articles and content by our talented network of writers and contributors at AFR; but we also read quality work which is being written throughout the football world. Here’s a selection of articles we’ve been reading, in no particular order:

Maradona, Then and Now

The virtuoso Brian Philips (@runofplay) is a favourite of ours (and many others), and this time he writes about the life of Maradona as a player and in the present, which transformed into a rollercoaster of affairs. After many years, the 1986 World Cup champion returns to Italy to dispute tax issues. And now is the ideal time to read about one of football’s most iconic characters.

Luis Suarez and the prelusory goal

Our friends at The Football Ramble have been thinking deeply, contemplating the effect cheating has on football. The author, philosophy professor Charlie Robinson, poses an excellent question: When players cheat to gain an advantage in a game, are they even playing a game at all?

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Maradona vs England: An animation made from magazines and newspapers

Our good friend Richard Swarbrick is at it again. This time he’s not only created a new Maradona-centric animation made from football magazines and sports newspapers, but he’s also brought a project with him. It’s called Fantasista, a site dedicated to art and the beautiful game.

Fantasista (the playmaker)1. (n) A symbol of creativity and invention, of imagination and entertainment, of artistry and magic

Richard is behind Fantasista, but our very own Senior Writer Amy Eustace (writings) is also one of the main contributors. Have a look, spread the word, and - of course - enjoy this beautiful animation focused on one of the most creative men ever to play the game. [Posted by Eric]

Happy Birthday, Diego! / Feliz Cumple, Diego!

After a brilliant Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate at El Monumental in Buenos Aires this past weekend, it only seems natural to keep the love in Argentina going strong. Today is all about El Diego, Señor Maradona, the man with the hand of god (La Mano de Dios), who turns 52. Messi’s son is expected to be born any day now, and we can only hope the tradition of Argentine brilliance in the form of the prolific #10 camiseta lives for another generation. Even if Messi Jr turns out to be a magician with the ball at his feet, it’s safe to say there will never be a player, or a man, quite like Diego.

Si yo fuera Maradona, nunca me equivocaría…”

[Posted by Eric. GIFs via A Legend A Day]

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