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La Paternal is declared “The World Capital of Soccer” in honor of Maradona

La Paternal is declared “The World Capital of Soccer” in honor of Maradona

La Paternal, the neighborhood where Diego Maradona lived when he played for Argentinos Juniors, was declared “The World Soccer Capital” in honor of the 1986 world champion in Mexico, who turns 60 this Friday.

The Board of Historical Studies of the neighborhoods of La Paternal and Villa General Miter also decided to name the former Argentine coach “Illustrious Neighbor” of the neighborhood and dreams of turning La Paternal into “a kind of Maradona’s Disney World,” César explained to Efe Pérez, one of its members.

Why did you decide to make these appointments?

We always say that the tributes have to be in life and more for what Diego is, for what he meant for the country, for the neighborhood and for all Argentines.

On October 17, we officially declared Diego “Illustrious Neighbor of the neighborhood of La Paternal” and La Paternal “World Capital of Soccer” with Diego as the emblem of everything that is “The hotbed of the world” and the players he has trained the Argentinos Juniors Athletic Association, the club of Diego’s origins.

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What does Maradona represent for the residents of La Paternal?

For the neighbors and for the companions of ‘Cebollitas’ of Maradona, that youth team that went 150 games undefeated, is ‘Pelusa’. They are stages. For the neighbors, he is Diego, ‘El pibe de oro’, as they called him here. It was a neighbor who went to the store to buy his apple, his soda, he gave affection to his mother, father and his brothers, who were born in a shanty town like Villa Fiorito and couldn’t afford those pleasures. Having lived here was a very important change and contrast.

What memories do the neighbors have of Maradona?

Diego’s sisters are neighbors. It is a very Maradonian neighborhood. The neighbors always tell anecdotes and remember him as what Diego is: a person of integrity, supportive, who was always thinking of the other. There are countless anecdotes of neighbors that were transmitted from the largest to the smallest.

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Aren’t there few who say that Maradona’s best games were in Argentinos Juniors. Even the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, a fan of the club, said that “the best Maradona was that of Argentinos.” Do you agree with that assessment?

Alberto was born in this neighborhood, he was a neighbor and went to the same school as my father. There are things that were not seen on film about Maradona in Argentinos Juniors, they only remain in the memory of each fan. Fans from other clubs also came to see him, because Maradona was a juggler, a phenomenon, the information had spread.

There are many long-time or lifetime members of the club who tell you that the best goal is not the one he scored against the English but one he scored against Huracán, that only the last part was filmed. Diego leaves several players on the way, including the goalkeeper, and scores the goal by passing the ball between the legs of (Jorge) Carrascosa. Diego in Argentinos Juniors tells things that make one stay amazed at what he did on a soccer field.

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When was the Board founded?

The Board was founded on October 30, 2008, in homage to Diego. One of the mentors and the one who laid the cornerstone was my mother, Liliana Rosa Dursi. He had an essential participation in all historical development.

What is the purpose of the Board?

May the story not be lost. We are all the time doing things by and for the neighborhood together with the neighbors. I say that tomorrow is going to be a kind of Maradona’s Disney World. The neighborhood will have a very strong identification with Diego. That La Paternal is “World Soccer Capital” transcends everything. EFE. (JL).

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