The Feet of God: Remembering Maradona

In 1991, I was living as an exchange student in Bologna, Italy. My host brother was a huge fan of Diego Armando Maradona, who was still at Napoli. So when they came to play Bologna, we got tickets and walked down the hill to the stadium to watch him play.

As I remembered it, Maradona was fat and lazy and barely ran, yet he still made three assists for goals, and Napoli ended up beating us. That was all I remembered about the game.

Last year, when Maradona died, it occurred to me that the game might be online. After a little searching, a blurry video of the highlights came up. Before watching the clip, I was afraid my memory might have distorted the match. And it did: I’d increased Bologna’s score to 2, when in fact it was 1. But I was right about Maradona: Three times he got the ball, and put it where it needed to be.

It wasn’t just the Hand of God we were watching. It was the feet too: