I’ve been meaning to write a little about Diego Maradona ever since seeing this perceptive post about Diego Armando Maradona over at Altered Argentina. A volatile discussion about Maradona has been surging recently over on the South American branch of the Thorn Tree, which reminded me of the topic.

I’m from the US and had never even heard of Maradona until I started dating Cecilia four years ago. When I moved to Buenos Aires I couldn’t understand why this fat, drug addict with bad hair was a national hero. I was all prepared to hate Maradona as just another scandalous superstar athlete. And, yes, he is all that (but not fat anymore).

However, as I started to see him interviewed on TV (before he had his own show) I came to see a side of him — a certain child-like quality — that is appealing. He’s like the mischievous kid who is always getting himself into trouble but, for some reason, is still likable. He also doesn’t seem to have the arrogant, blowhard personality that I assumed. So, I’ve found myself, unexpectedly, liking Maradona.

I don’t regularly watch his TV show but bad TV talk shows seem to be insanely popular on Argentine TV (e.g., Susana). I actually find that much more difficult to understand than Maradona’s popularity.