El Pibe d’Oro (the child of Gold)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Panned, but not by his adoring public
The golden nuggets, from his footballing life
Shine forth for all to see
But detritus, surrounds him still
Deprives him of dignity
Silts up his arteries
Imbues his belly
Plumping him, bigger than a prize turkey
A sight, that cleaves through the soul –
Heroes, are for pedestals
Not for carving up;
Whether it be on an operating table
Or by a sniping press
(who have to take cover,
peppered by shots
where the intended target
is not the cherished ‘onion bag’
more a vipers nest).
Now Diego holes up in Havana
With fellow deity, Fidel Castro.
So Buenos Aires, misses its prodigal son
Villa Fiorita (‘little bloom’), its golden child.
Yet the ‘desaparecidos’
Will never number Diego
Who’s star, shines too bright
For in his boots
He had ingots for insoles


About : Diego Armando Maradona

His autobiography ‘El Diego’ has just been published.
Reviewed by Martin Amis in the Guardian on Friday 1st October 2004.
This poem was inspired by the said review, which ended with the following paragraph :

The great player Jorge Valdano said a good thing about Maradona, and in the Latin high-style: “Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a god’, ‘You’re a star’ … that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You’re a man’.” But we’re not quite there yet. In Italy they used to tell him, “Ti amo piu che i miei figli” – I love you more than my own children. It’s not as blasphemous as it sounds. With his tantrums, his self-injuries, and his unassuageable sweet tooth, Maradona has remained “El Pibe d’Oro”, the child of Gold; he is still Dieguito.
© Martin Amis 2004

* ‘desaparecidos’ (the Argentine ‘disappeared’)

** Villa Fiorita was the barrio in Buenos Aires where Diego was born and raised

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/el-pibe-doro-the-child-of-gold/