The day that Diego Maradona came into the world –October 30– and the date of his departure, November 25, has become (almost religious) events for Argentina. Weeks ago, the day of her delivery was vividly recalled. And nothing else is expected by the time the Argentine clock stopped. Almost everyone can tell what they were doing the moment they heard the news, even those disbelieving and fed up with its omnipresence.

Maradona means too many things at once in this country: above all, the days of absolute happiness associated with soccer triumph and a proper name, his, which never came back and are longed for even in the worst social and economic context as a table of fleeting salvation. But, at the same time, Diego has been a permanent image since 1976, on screens and walls, in clothing and tattoos.

He was a figure who could be plebeian and at the same time aristocratic, rebellious and condescending, altruistic and wasteful, with one foot in Castro’s Havana and the other in Dubai, but with the center in an Argentina where a Maradonian church has been erected and has been given the rank of deity with golden spoils and, also, muddy. He has embodied greatness and misery like no one else. The degree of devotion or detachment therefore depends on the Diego that one chooses to evoke.

He died, what things are, on 25-N, a day that began by denouncing sexist violence and ended up burying a footballer with a crude history of aggression amid praise. In the Maradonian cult, this matter is tiptoed over. “What do I care what Maradona did with his life, I care what he did with mine,” says the writer and comedian Roberto Fontanarrosa.

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Based on that kind of common sense, Gabriela Saidon just published ‘Supergod. The construction of Maradona as a lay saint ‘. “He is a global saint, indisputable, at the same time God and superhero, and was sanctified in life in ways as obvious as unconscious (as a religion spreads: without unmasking its symbolization process)”. Will it work miracles soon?

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