Diego Maradona dies aged 60; can Cavan’s kickouts do for the Dubs?
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Diego Maradona has died ahed 60. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Diego Armando Maradona, in many people’s eyes the greatest footballer of all time, has died of a heart attack aged 60. Maradona, who inspired Argentina to the 1986 World Cup, was deified at home, in Naples - where he took Napoli to their first-ever Scudetto in 1987 - and around the world. And this morning Keith Duggan has paid tribute to El Diego, and the absorbing, alluring grip he had on those who were privileged enough to exist at the same time as him. He writes: “In that football strip - and Argentina’s may just be the most beautiful jersey of all - Maradona always seemed caught between ecstasy and tears of sadness, as if he had been put on earth just to render explicable the overflow of emotion and feeling that runs through his city and country.” And Mary Hannigan has looked at five key moments in Maradona’s career, from his senior bow with Argentinos Juniors in 1976, his goals against England in 1986 through to title glory with Napoli a year later.
In today’s GAA Statistics column Eamon Donoghue has looked at the rebirth of the long kickout, which has risen like a phoenix from the flames in this year’s football Championship. He writes: “After a near decade of chip restarts, possession football, and a hopeless pursuit of beating Dublin at their own game, a counter movement appears to be emerging.” And one man in particular is thriving off the back of this - Cavan’s Thomas Galligan, who has been a driving force behind the county’s Ulster title win and journey to the All-Ireland semi-finals. “Playing with abandon, throwing his body into aerial contests and tackles, Galligan and his Cavan team are a winning contradiction to the modern coaching manual.”