‘Unbeatable’ – Barcelona’s incredible scouting report of Maradona aged 17
Diego Maradona is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and his incredible talent was evident from a very early age.
Four years before Maradona’s move to Barcelona in 1982, ex-Argentina manager Cesar Luis Menotti produced a scouting report on the forward for the Spanish side.
The report, via Marca, shows just how gifted he was at a young age at Argentinos Juniors, and we’ve tried to break it down piece by piece.
“Very good, extraordinary. Speed 9.5. Starting Speed 9.5. With Ball 9.1. Without Ball 9.5. Agility 9.5. Jump power 8.”
Maradona’s jump power helped him a lot during his career. Just ask Peter Shilton.
“Mental strength 10. Power of suffering 10. Concentration 10. Selfish 0. Personality 10.”
Somehow, giving Maradona only 10 out of 10 for personality seems like a bit of an understatement.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
“Extraordinary, effective and just dribbling. Excellent power. Extraordinary courage. Extraordinary efficiency. Very good shot. Great passing. Total accuracy. Complete vision. Average heading. Good leadership. Very good power to retain the ball. Extraordinary ball protection.”
Being “average” in the air doesn’t really matter when you’re a genius with the ball at your feet.
“Complete intelligence in football. Complete sense for football. Good view. Very good speed in efficiency.”
This sounds a lot like the Maradona we grew to love during his professional career.
“Young. He was born on 30/10/1960. He has prodigious technical qualities, easy dribbling. He has a straight line vision facing the goal, but he knows how to get rid of the ball for the best-placed teammate.”
We think this might just be the most glowing scout report we’ve ever seen. But it was Maradona. He lived up to these words and more.
Not just at Barcelona but with Boca Juniors and Napoli and most of all the Argentinian national team.
When Maradona passed away, his 1986 World Cup team-mate Jorge Valdano wrote in the Guardian: “If football is universal, so is Diego, because Maradona and football are synonymous.
“But at the same time, he was unequivocally Argentinian, which helps to explain the emotional power he has always had in our country…
“Such was his symbolic, sentimental power that with Maradona the poor defeated the rich and the unconditional support that came from below was proportional to the mistrust from above.
“The rich hate to lose. But in the end even his greatest enemies were forced to bow to him. They had no other choice.”