Diego Maradona was the Babe Ruth
of Argentinian soccer: a pudgy, charming and hard-partying star who dominated his country's favorite sport. Diego Maradona is best remembered for helping Argentina win the 1986 World Cup with two goals in a quarterfinal match against England; on the first he punched the ball in with his hand, a sneaky maneuver that went unseen by the referee. (Maradona wryly credited the goal to "a little bit of Maradona's head, a little bit of the hand of God.") Maradona was a goal-scoring midfielder for Argentina in four World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994) and played professionally for more than two decades. Among his many pro clubs were FC Barcelona (1982-84) and SSC Napoli (1984-91). His career included plenty of controversy: he was suspended for 15 months in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine, suspended again in 1994 after failing another drug test, and ran up an unpaid income tax bill in Italy that eventually exceeded 30 million Euros. Photos of Maradona looking bloated and decidedly unathletic were commonplace in the 1990s, and he survived a heart attack in 2004, but he never lost the public's affection. Amongh other ventures, he hosted his own television show in Argentina titled La Noche del Diez
, or "The Night of the Number Ten."