If there was one soccer legend likely to come to Luis Suárez’s defense, it was Diego Maradona. Beyond the Argentine icon’s own controversial image, beyond his healthy respect for anyone who defies authority, the star of Mexico 1986 is no stranger to his won World Cup controversies. Part of his own hand ball incident in those 1986 finals, Maradona was sent home from USA 1994 after failing a drug test. On a number of levels, the FIFA’s joint-player of the 20th century can empathize with Uruguay’s troubled star.
That empathy may be why Maradona has come out in support of the suspended star. Today, on his television show De Zurda, Maradona unveiled a t-shirt reading, in Spanish, “Luis, we are with you:”
Javier Saul (@dr_javi) June 27, 2014
Why would he do this? If you know the golden rule of Maradona, it makes perfect sense. If you’re even in doubt as to how the legend would react to anything, just ask yourself what Pelé would do, and Maradone will do the opposite. If the Brazilian legend is soccer history’s omnipresent, well-crafted yin, Don Diego is the bellicose, impetuous yang.
Say Pelé likes vanilla. Maradona will love chocolate. If Pele listened to Oasis, Maradona preferred Blur. The Santos star may have drank Coke, but Napoli’s all-time leading scorer snorted it. There’s no shared ground between the two.
How would Pele react to Suárez’s bites? Probably with the sanctimony of a self-appointed steward. He’d write a book to throw at him.
Maradona? He made a t-shirt professing his support. And would we really want it any other way?