There was a time when some of us were uncertain about the existence of the gods of Olympus.
There was a time when we had real walls to separate us from the rest of the world and from any other kind of gods or mortals. Inside that enclosure we were trying to receive television signals from a neighbouring country on an old monochrome TV set by moving a strange looking antenna on the roof of the house until somebody, down there, loudly announced the success of the roof encounter.
On that screen I have discovered that gods were actually existing and they were playing soccer on a faraway land loved by the Sun itself, Mexico, in the shiny summer of the year 1986. I have seen how Maradona has descended from a mythological mountain of himself on the Earth to illuminate the mortals of the soccer world. He gave a brighter light to a sport we were all in love with and, by some magical means, I have seen the colors of the world through those black and white images on the old TV set. He brilliantly played for all of us and made the poor signal leading to distortion of image and crackles of sound to be the clearest ever.
At that time, I was a child discovering the world, fictional or nonfictional reading worn out books. I always doubted the existence of Mount Olympus and its heavenly inhabitants but at that moment I thought that Argentina, land of silver by the name and of clear skies by the color of the national team jerseys, must have been the country of some sorts of true gods since Diego Maradona had come to the world to bring proof of it.
He must have been not perfect but he changed the world of soccer by his geniality.
Contemporary with him other gods resurrected from all parts of the world, all of them coming from an Olympus of themselves. The closest to my heart is, obviously Hagi, the hero of Romanians, close to Diego by talent, space and time. They all belonged to the people, the millions of fans for whom they performed their finesse and agility.
Other gods, more powerful, must have been in need to enjoy some piece of peerless soccer play if they called “El Pibe d’Oro” to them.