From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
RIP Maradona. A tortured footballing genius. Capable of doing things on the pitch mere mortals could only dream about.
As for the Pele vs Maradona argument. Pele wins this for the same reason as Lewis wins Hamilton vs Schumacher. When you have two sporting colossus from different periods its impossible to ever know who was the better. But when one of the options plays the game cleanly and fairly, and the other has moments of less than sporting behaviour, then the former deserves the benefit of any doubt.
I agree. Maradona had an immense talent, but he wasted a big portion of it with his often irresponsible behaviour (drugs, illegitimate children, shady dealings with the camorra when with Naples...) A pity. Pelč was consistently great and a role-model outside the pitch too.
I remember when, after "coming clean" from cocaine (which is a form of doping) and a 15 months ban, Maradona was immediately caught using doping again at the 1994 World Cup. All my friends were sympathetic with him (and I mean all). I, alone, wasn't. Maybe I was too harsh, but I felt that Maradona, by using doping, had betrayed the faith that the team and the coach had given to him. He later stated that it had been "involuntary doping" and he didn't knew that the energiser he drank contained dopant substances. Maybe, but I felt that, by then, he had lost his credibility.
Nothing of this, of course, denies that he was a legend on the pitch. But, sadly, he consistently sabotaged himself with his irresponsible behaviour - a loss for him in the first place, but, in a final analysis, for everybody too.
"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"
(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")