Diego Armando Maradona was more than just a fútbol legend.
The Argentine soccer idol, who died Wednesday (Nov. 25) at age 60, also dabbled frequently with music and the recording industry. Back in 2001, Jorge Ferradas — who currently manages Camilo, Lali and Nathy Peluso, among others — was an executive in Sony Argentina, during the midst of the country’s financial crisis.
But soccer felt foolproof, so the label bought the rights to the recordings Maradona had done for his memoir Yo Soy El Diego and released them as a double-CD titled Soy El Diego De La Gente (I Am the People’s Diego).
“It had been a publishing success, but didn’t translate into record sales,” laughs Ferradas now. “But we did an album presentation, and everything was worthwhile. He was pure art in what he did,” adds Ferradas, a soccer player and fan himself. “I’m from Argentina, I live in the U.S. and I got the news while I’m in Spain. And here, so far from his home, someone just said: ‘I don’t care what he did with his life; I only care what he did with mine!'”
On another occasion, Maradona performed onstage at Teatro Gran Rex with Spanish star Joaquín Sabina to sing “Y Nos Dieron Las Diez.” In 2000, Sabina, a zealous fan of Maradona’s and also a friend, was inspired to write a poem titled “Mano de Dios (The Hand of God)” in homage to Maradona’s controversial goal that he scored in the Argentina vs. England 1986 World Cup match. The goal also inspired Argentine singer Rodrigo’s song titled “La Mano de Dios (Homenaje a Diego Maradona).”
Siempre le apoyó y le defendió, siempre con Maradona, incluso cuando casi todos se bajaron del barco. “Haga lo que haga, estoy con él”. Hasta siempre Diego Armando Maradona pic.twitter.com/tHnKz7uwT7
— Joaquín Sabina (@joaquin_sabina) November 25, 2020
The World Cup winner also recorded “Querida Amiga” with Argentine duo Pimpinela and “El Sueño del Pibe,” a 1943 tango penned by Juan Puey and Reinaldo Yiso.
Maradona died of a heart attack 14 days after being released from the hospital, where he underwent brain surgery.
Born Oct. 30, 1960, Maradona made his big debut in Buenos Aires at age 15. He then went on to lead Argentina’s national team to victory in the 1986 World Cup. In total, he played 91 games for his country’s national team and also played for Barcelona at club level as well as Napoli.
Following news of Maradona’s death, J Balvin, Ricardo Montaner, Maluma, Fito Paez and DJ Snake, among others, took to social media to pay tribute and remember their idol and one of the greatest soccer players of all time. See their reactions here.