One of the most outspoken figures in football, Diego Maradona is no stranger to soundbites. mid-day pays tribute to the Argentinian legend on his birthday with a collection of some of his most memorable quotes.
On his mother...
My mother thinks I am the best. And I was raised to always believe what my mother tells me.
On his rivalry with Pele...
"Why would you compare me to Pele? My mother said I'm stronger and that he played with players who couldn't even move."
"Pele should go back to the museum."
"The biggest and main difference between Pele and Maradona is I have the respect of all footballers, which Pele does not have. Pele is a friend of those who manage football. I am not friends with them. I am with the players”
"Usually, when you see him these days, it's only at award ceremonies next to the president of FIFA and looking like a doll that's being moved by remote control."
"I don't like comparisons with Pele because of the stupid things he says. He keeps on saying stupid stuff when he takes the wrong pills"
"There would be no debate about who was the best footballer the world had ever seen - me or Pele. Everyone would say me."
On Pele saying that Neymar is better than Messi...
"My God, that is just stupid. Maybe Neymar is the best player in the world, but only if you say that Messi is from a different planet."
"He took the wrong pill. Instead of taking the pill for before bedtime, he took his morning pill. He got confused. I suggest that next time he takes the right medication and that he changes his doctor."
On being voted FIFA's joint Player of the Century
"The people voted for me. Now they want me to share the prize with Pele. I'm not going to share the prize with anybody."
"I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me and no one came, ... I told them, 'Come hug me or the referee isn't going to allow it.'"
On what football means to him...
"To see the ball, to run after it, makes me the happiest man in the world."
On David Beckham..
"Beckham is a nice man and I'm sure he will reach 100 appearances for England. But he is just a good player, nothing more."
"There are hundreds of Beckhams playing football all over the world."
On what he thinks of himself...
You can say a lot of things about me, but you can never say I don't take risks.
"I am Maradona, who makes goals, who makes mistakes. I can take it all, I have shoulders big enough to fight with everybody."
"I am black or white, I'll never be grey in my life."
On the infamous goal against England in 1986 World Cup...
"It was the hand of God."
"It was as if we had beaten a country, more than just a football team."
Some years later on the 'Hand of God' goal...
"It was like pick-pocketing the English and stealing a win."
On his children...
"My legitimate kids are Dalma and Giannina. The rest are a product of my money and mistakes."
On why he smashed a photographer's car window in 2000...
"I did it with the hand of reason."
On George Bush...
“I think Bush is a murderer. I’m going to head the march against him stepping foot on Argentine soil.”
On Michel Platini and the French...
“We all know what the French are like and Platini as a Frenchman thinks he knows it all.”