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Car Tales: Maradona and His Porsche

‘I’ve just seen that the other day the 1992 Porsche 911 Type 964 Carrera 2 Convertible Works Turbo Look owned by the late footballing superstar Diego Maradona was sold in Paris for €483,000, nearly twice the estimated sale price.
‘Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of soccer, he was – with the Brazilian Pele – one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.
‘Born on 30 October 1960 Maradona passed away last November in his native Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, where he grew up in the shanty-town of Villa Fiorito.
For his national side Maradona earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals, playing in four FIFA World Cups. He captained Argentina in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, leading them to victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. Mind you, this award overlooked his notorious ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-final, where he ‘scored’ through an unpenalized handling foul. This was in contrast to his second goal in that game, later voted ‘Goal of the Century’ by FIFA, following a 66 yard dribble past five English players.
‘Delivered to ‘El Diego’ in November 1992 in Seville, Spain, where he played his last season of European soccer, the Porsche was Maradona’s regular transport to football training in the city. So much so, in fact, that he was once stopped by armed police after jumping a red light and driving at 180km/h through Seville’s city center. Clearly Diego must have got out of bed late on that training day. Can’t imagine what he might have been doing the night before.
‘Team captain of Seville, Diego Maradona rented the villa of Juan Antonio Ruiz Roman, Spain’s most famous bullfighter, taking delivery on 6th November 1992 of the top-of-the-range Porsche. One of only 1,200 Type 964 Carrera 2 Cabriolet Works Turbo Look variants produced in a two-year run, this soft-top supercar was powered by a 250bhp 3.6-litre engine, giving it a staggering top speed of 260km/h.
‘For someone who was brought up on the streets, where he honed his soccer skills, Maradona seemed to have acquired the perfect automobile: extremely fast and (almost) self-propelled. “When Diego came to Argentinos Juniors for trials,” said Francisco Cornejo, the youth coach who discovered hm, “I was really struck by his talent and couldn’t believe he was only eight years old. In fact, we asked him for his ID card so we could check it, but he told us he didn’t have it on him. We were sure he was having us on because, although he had the physique of a child, he played like an adult. When we discovered he’d been telling us the truth, we decided to devote ourselves purely to him.”
’10 days before his 16th birthday, Maradona made his professional debut on 20 October 1976 for Argentinos Juniors, scoring his first goal on 14 November 1976.
‘In February 1981 Maradona transferred to Boca Juniors, where he won the Argentinian league title. But the next year he moved on again, to Spain’s Barcelona, for a then world record fee of $7.6 million.
‘After two years, however, following an extraordinary on-pitch brawl with the players of Athletic Bilbao, following racial abuse towards him, Diego Maradona was moved on to Napoli in Italy for another world record fee.
‘Two years later, with Maradona as captain, Napoli won their first ever Italian league title. Although he spearheaded Napoli’s success, Maradona simultaneously had an awkward personal life, climaxing in a 15-month playing ban following a positive test for cocaine..
‘This was when he was transferred to Sevilla, and acquired his Porsche 911 Type 964 Carrera 2 Convertible Works Turbo Look. Unfortunately another failed drug test, at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, ended Diego Maradona’s international career.
‘”When Diego scored that second goal against us,” confessed England striker Gary Lineker of that 1986 ‘Hand of God’ World Cup game, “I felt like applauding. I’d never felt like that before, but it’s true… and not just because it was such an important game. It was impossible to score such a beautiful goal. He’s the greatest player of all time, by a long way. A genuine phenomenon.”
‘And in soccer heaven I have no doubt whatsoever that Diego Maradona is continuing to drive to training in his Porsche 911 Type 964 Carrera 2 Convertible Works Turbo Look.
‘At 180km/h.
-Alex Manos, Owner – Beverly Hills Car Club

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