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Archive for the ‘Sports Figures’ Category

Diego Armando Maradona Biography

Posted On September 10th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona is considered to be one of the best footballers of all times. He happens to be an Argentinean player and currently manages the Argentine National Team. As far as his international career is concerned, he scored a total of 34 goals and earned as many as 91 caps. He appeared in 4 FIFA world cup tournaments and captained a win for his team in 1986 against West Germany. He was endowed with the “Golden Ball Award” as the best player of the tournament. During his professional club career, he played for Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors, Sevilla, Napoli and Newell’s Old Boys. Maradona was one of the first players to receive world-record fees for his contracts. Amidst several controversies, Maradona became the head coach of the Argentinean National Team in 2008.

Early Years

Diego Maradona was born on 30th October 1960 and belonged to Lanus, Buenos Aries. Although being born in Lanus, he was raised in a town called ‘Villa Fiorito’ located on the southern outskirts of the province. He happened to be the first son in the family after three daughters. He also had two younger brothers called Hugo and Eduardo, both of whom became successful football players.

While playing in his neighborhood club called “Estrella Roja”, he was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 10. He joined as a junior with the Argentinos Juniors and as a ball boy, he amused the audience with his football skills during the half time break.

Personal Life

Diego Maradona was born to mother Dalma Salvadore Franco and father Diego Maradona Snr. On 7th November, 1989, Maradona married his long-time fiancée in Buenos Aries called Claudia Villafane. He has two daughters Dalma Nerea and Giannina Dinorah. Maradona has admitted in his autobiography that he has not been faithful with his wife and refers to her as the only ‘love’ of his life.

Maradona and his wife divorced in 2004, on mutual consent and continued to remain friends thereafter. They are often spotted together on FIFA events and other sporting occasions. After the divorce, Claudia went on to pursue her career as a theatre producer.

During the proceedings of his divorce, Maradona revealed that he fathered a son called Diego Sinagra in Italy. However, the Italian courts ruled this out in 1993. As of now, Diego Sinagra is a footballer in Italy.

Football Career

Maradona made his first professional football debut on 20th October 1976 with a club called Argentinos Juniors. He played with the club for five years, until he was offered a £1m contract with Boca Juniors. He received his first league medal while playing with the squad in 1982. After the world cup of 1982, he was transferred to Barcelona, Spain for a contract fee of £5m. During his time in Barcelona, he used to get in disputes with the team managers especially the club president called Josep Lluís Núñez. He was then transferred to Napoli, Italy for a world-record fee of £6.9m.

Maradona reached the peak of his football career during his time with Napoli. He led the team to several Italian Championships and soon became one of the most sought after players of the world

International Career

During his time at Napoli, Maradona found his fame in international football. While playing for the Argentina National Team, he played 4 FIFA Tournaments. He led the Argentinean team to the World Cup in 1986 and came second during the 1990 World Cup.

His full international debut happened when he was only 16 on 27th February 1977, in a match against Hungary. The goal made by Maradona during the quarter final match against England in the 1986 world cup is voted as the ‘Goal of the Century’ through an online poll conducted by FIFA in 2002. It is regarded as one of the greatest goals in the history of football.

Playing Style

Diego Maradona was extremely technical with the football, along with being a strategic team player. He could effectively run through limited spaces and would often fool the defenders. Apart from being short, he was extremely strong on the field and could hold the ball for longer duration, until he spotted a gap or a teammate.

Dribbling at full speed is one of his trademark moves and he is known to deliver accurate passes while approaching the goal. A reverse-cross pass shot, also known as the “rabona” was one of his preferred shots. Maradona has proved to be a dangerous free kicker. Diego Maradona was a predominant left-footer and he would often use his left foot, even if the ball would be ideally placed for a right foot shot.


While playing for Napoli in Italy, Maradona faced a lot of personal problems. He continued the use of cocaine and faced a fine of US $70,000 for missing practices and games, apparently due to stress. There was a huge scandal regarding the existence of an illegitimate son and he was also suspected of his relationship with Camorra. He was banned for 15 months from Napoli since he failed a drug test for cocaine. Maradona quit the club in disgrace in the year 1992. Thereafter he joined Sevilla, after a break of 2 years from professional football.

Due to his addiction to cocaine, his play was affected greatly. His health suffered majorly after his retirement and he had to be rushed to the emergency room while vacationing in Uruguay. The doctors detected damage in the heart muscles and traces of cocaine were also found in his blood. On his return to Argentina, he moved to Cuba to follow a strict drug rehab plan.

Maradona is known to have a tendency to put on weight and suffered from obesity. In March 2005, he had to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He appeared on Argentinean national television on May 8, 2007 and claimed that he had not consumed drugs or alcohol in the last two years.

Tiger Woods Biography

Posted On April 6th, 2008 By Celebrity Biographies

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Eldrick Woods, also known as “Tiger Woods” was born on the 30th of December,1975. He happens to be a professional golfer from America whose achievements until today place him amongst the most successful athletes of all times. He is currently the world’s best golfer and is also considered as one of the highest earning sportsman of the world. His estimated worth, which includes his endorsements and winnings come up to $100 million. According to the Golf Digest, Woods is on his way on becoming the world’s first billionaire athlete by the year 2010.

Early Days

Eldrick Woods was born in Cypress, California. His father’s name was Earl Woods and mother was Kutilda Woods. His mother was from the Thai origin and his dad was a retired US army lieutenant colonel. He often calls himself as an ethnic make up of the Caucasian, Black, American-Indian and Asian origins. Woods is a thorough Buddhist. He has confirmed that his faith in Buddhism was acquired from his mother and also that it helps him control rigidity and anxiety.

A Vietnamese soldier friend of his father was the first one to give him the name “Tiger”. Thereafter, Woods usually was referred by that name and by the time he won the national popularity in amateur golf was simply called “Tiger Woods”. On his 21st birthday, he officially changed his name from Eldrick Woods to “Tiger Woods”. He grew up in Orange City, California and attended the high school at Western High in Anaheim.

Personal Life

Woods was engaged to a Swedish model called “Elin Nordegren” in November, 2003. They were formerly introduced by the Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik. Elin was working as a nanny for Jesper Parnevik, prior to meeting Tiger Woods during an Open Championship in 2001. On October 5th, 2004, they got married at the Sandy Lane resort on the Caribbean island of Barbados. They currently reside at the Isleworth, a community in Windermere also in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. Besides, they also possess homes in Jackson, California, Sweden and Wyoming. In January 2006, the couple purchased a $39 million property in Jupiter Island, Florida. They intend to make this as their permanent residence. This island also has homes of famous golf stars Gary Player, Greg Norman and Nick Price. Celebrities like Celine Dion and Alan Jackson also reside here.

In June, 2007, Elin gave birth to their first biological child, a daughter named Sam Alexis Woods, in Orlando, Florida. Ironically, the birth happened on the day after Woods tied second in the 2007 US Open Championship. Tiger personally named his daughter because of his late father who thought he looked like Sam.

Amateur Career

Eldrick Woods was a child prodigy who started playing golf at the age of 2. Hence in the year 1978, he starred in the famous Mike Douglas show against the comedian Bob Hope. At a very young age of 3 years, Woods shot a 48 over 9 holes at the Navy Club in his hometown Cypress, California. After that at the age of 5 he appeared in the Golf Digest and in the ABC’s “That’s Incredible”. In 1984, he made his first appearance at the Junior World Golf Championships. He played this tournament six times which include his four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991. At the age of 15, he became he became the youngest ever US Junior Amateur Champion, was voted Southern California Amateur Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year 1991 while he was still at the Western High School in Anaheim.

Professional Career

Tiger Woods became the professional golf sportsman in the year 1996 and thereafter signed several endorsements from Nike to Titleist. He was on his way to making millions out of these endorsements and also collecting the winnings. He played his first round of professional golf tying for 60th place, but went on to win the other two events in the next three months to be selected for the Tour Championship. For his efforts, Tiger Woods was pronounced the Sports Illustrated 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Rookie of the Year. It was then that he began his well-known tradition of wearing a red shirt during the final round of tournaments, which is a link to his college days at Stanford and a color he firmly believes symbolizes aggression and assertiveness.

During the same time next year, Tiger Woods won his first golf major. He became the youngest Masters winner by a record margin of 12 strokes. He happened to be one the first winners of the Masters from an African-American or Asian-American descent. There a total of 20 Masters records on his name and he has tied six of them. He also won another PGA tour during the same time that year. In June, close to 42 weeks of him playing professional golf, he rose from the 42nd rank to the World’s number one spot. This is one of the fastest ascents to the World’s number one ranking. Thus, due to all this he was named the PGA player of the year and by far the first golfer to win that award.

Rough Patches

It is pretty obvious that the expectations from such a player is always going to be high, however, Woods seemed to lose his form in the year 1997. This form gave him only one win in the PGA tour. The critics slammed him with their comments but his fine strokes in the very famous Memorial tournament were an answer to them. Woods, along with his coach Butch Harmon assured that they were working and hoping to do better in the future. In 1999, Memorial tournament happened and it marked the beginning of his dominance in the golfing world. In 1999, he won the PGA tour event and also finished the season successfully with eight wins. This was a feat which was never achieved in the past 25 century.

Thence, he was then awarded the prestigious PGA Tour player of the Year award and also received the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in the span of 3 years.

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